Woman sentenced to 2 years in prison after setting fire to Petersburg home with baby inside

Woman charged with setting fire to hom with baby inside
Crystal Wilkins-Taylor is charged with arson and two counts of attempted murder. (Source: Petersburg police)
Crystal Wilkins-Taylor is charged with arson and two counts of attempted murder. (Source: Petersburg police)

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - A woman will serve two years in prison after Petersburg police say she set a home on fire while a baby was inside.

Crystal Wilkins-Taylor, 32, was charged with three felonies for a fire in August 2018 on McKenzie Street - arson and two counts of attempted murder.

One of the attempted murder charges was Nolle Prosequi and she pleaded no contest to the other. She was sentenced to five years and had all five suspended. She also pleaded no contest to the arson charge and was sentenced to five years in prison with three suspended. She will serve a total of two years.

It’s the first arrest in a series of arsons that broke out in Petersburg in summer 2018. Authorities say this case had to do with a domestic dispute and is not connected to three other arson cases.

Police said Wilkins-Taylor was crying but cooperative when she was taken into custody.

The arrest came after she was released from the hospital for smoke inhalation she suffered in the blaze she is accused of setting.

"Five more minutes, it would have trapped everybody," Assistant Fire Marshal Marlow Jones said.

Jones said he responded to the scene and knew right away it was suspicious.

"It stood out to it as soon as you got to it," Jones said. "The fire told its own story."

Fire crews had to rescue three people from the burning home - Wilkins-Talyor, her girlfriend and that woman's baby.

"What saved the lady and the baby," Jones said. "She had her door closed, so the smoke pretty much bypassed them. The baby was in that house with her mother and had that door been open, I don't think that baby would have made it with the amount of smoke that was inside that structure."

Jones said a domestic dispute preceded the fire, which was set in the living room.

"She admitted to setting it back in the back in both areas," he said.

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