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Doctor To Evaluate Accused Thief and Arsonist

Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2010

A woman accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a church and setting a house on fire in Ottawa will have her mental state evaluated next week.

Judge H. Chris Ryan gave the go ahead for 42 year old Terri James of Ottawa to be evaluated Tuesday before her trial date of June 7th.  The defense is wondering if she’s mentally fit to stand trial for arson and theft.  Lawyers hope to have the mental exam results for James’ next court appearance next Friday morning.

She was arrested in March after fires broke out at an abandoned house on Leland Street and a home on Catherine Street in Ottawa.  Prosecutors think she was trying to destroy evidence showing that she stole over 100,000 thousand dollars from the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Ottawa where she was a secretary.

James remains in the La Salle County Jail on 200 thousand dollars bond.

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