Woman faces arson charges for burning newspaper indoors


BENNINGTON -- A Gage Street woman is facing arson charges after police said she twice set a newspaper on fire in the apartment complex where she lives.

Judith D. Fachini, 66, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Vermont Superior Court to two counts of first degree arson and a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment. She is being held at the Rutland jail for lack of $5,000 bail. A competency evaluation was ordered by the court.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer David Faden, on Jan. 1 at 10:10 p.m. he was called to the Cora B. Whitney Senior Living Facility on Gage Street because a maintenance worker reported that Fachini had torn the Christmas wreath off another resident's door and was yelling in the hallway. The wreath's owner did not wish Fachini to be charged, so Faden said if there were further problems to call him back.

He was soon called back by the maintenance worker who said Fachini had set a newspaper on fire and left it in the hallway. He had stomped it out, but Fachini had lit it a second time while Faden was on his way. There was damage to the floor and the paper was left near the wall where it threatened to spread.

The worker said 22 people, including himself, live in the building. Many are elderly and were likely asleep at the time of the fire.

Faden wrote the fire would have trapped those living in apartment eight had it spread. Fachini was arrested and "completely uncooperative" while being processed.

She submitted to a blood-alcohol test and registered a .134 percent.

In February 2013 police went to Fachini's apartment because she had set her pants on fire, thus injuring herself. Police said Fachini was intoxicated for this incident and was sent to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.

Faden wrote that Fachini is in the process of being evicted from the apartment complex because of her alleged behavior.


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