News Article Details

Woman in arson case ordered to undergo mental health treatment

Sun - 8/16/2017

The woman suspected of setting 13 fires at three locations on the same morning was sentenced to a term of probation, time in jail and ordered to undergo mental health treatment Tuesday morning in Yuma County Superior Court.

With her attorney Valerie McNeice of the Yuma County Public Defender's Office standing at her side, 35-year-old Janice Lillian Pablo was sentenced to 36 months of intensive probation for attempted arson of an occupied structure, which she pleaded no contest to in a plea agreement last month.

As a condition of that probation, Superior Court Judge Stephen Rouff also sentenced Pablo to serve 45 days in jail, without credit for any of the 258 days she has already served.

Rouff also ordered Pablo to apply for Mental Health Court, and told her if she is accepted she would be eligible for early release to attend, and her probation would be reduced from intensive to supervised.

If she is not accepted, however, her probation would remain as intensive and she would have to attend whatever mental health treatment program the probation department required once she completed her jail sentence.

Rouff cautioned Pablo as well, explaining to her if she violates any of the conditions of her probation, which include not completing a mental health program, she could be brought back into court.

If a violation is proven, the judge continued, she could be sentenced to a term of prison ranging from two years to eight years and nine months, with the presumptive sentence being three and a half years.

Pablo, who was still in custody on $20,000 bond, had been charged with two counts of arson of an occupied structure and one count of arson of property. In return for her plea of no contest, those charges against her were dismissed.

She was arrested the morning of Dec. 5 after she allegedly used matches with notebook paper or toilet paper to start two fires inside and four outside a home in the 700 block of 13th Avenue.

Pablo had also confessed to setting fires at the Food City on 8th Street, three of them indoors and two outside. Two more blazes were then discovered in a city-owned dumpster behind an apartment complex down the street from the store.

Police took Pablo into custody at about 11 a.m.Dec. 5, after reports of a disturbance near Arizona Avenue and 23rd Street.

James Gilbert can be reached at or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.


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