Dianna Kylene Slusher 32 of Christiansburg pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Circuit Court to one count of arson. According to county Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Nicole Terry Slusher admitted to police that she set the home on fire. Slusher had been involved in ongoing civil disputes with her landlord Terry said.
Crews and police responded to the 3200 block of Kirby Drive just after midnight on Aug. 16 according to a police news release. Four people were inside the home at the time of the fire but were not injured. The house was completely destroyed the release stated.
According to Terry Slusher originally said she had fallen asleep with a cigarette in her hand and had woken up to find her mattress on fire. Because the water had previously been turned off in the home Slusher told police she tried unsuccessfully to extinguish the fire with cranberry juice. Slusher said that once she realized she couldn't put out the fire she awoke the other three residents Terry said.
One of the residents approached the fire chief concerned that Slusher had set the fire on purpose Terry said. Slusher's personal items were then found in a shed by the house and she later admitted to police that she had carried her belongings outside before intentionally starting the fire according to Terry.
Circuit Court Judge Bobby Turk sentenced Slusher to 10 years with all but one year and three months suspended and five years of active supervised probation upon release. He also ordered Slusher to pay more than $12000 in restitution.