Woman receives probation for arson, reckless burning


A woman who set fires last October in dumpsters on both sides of Texarkana was sentenced Tuesday to six years probation in Miller County.

Stormmi Dawn Cole, 35, was arrested at approximately 11 p.m., Oct. 22, 2017, as she walked on Olive Street in Texarkana, Texas. Cole was allegedly wearing a motorcycle helmet and carrying a mop at the time.

Cole matched the description of a suspect who had set a dumpster on fire at an auto parts store on State Line Avenue in Texarkana, Texas, a short while before. A few hours earlier, police and firefighters responded to several calls in Texarkana, Ark., involving intentionally set fires.

Cole confessed to being responsible for a dumpster fire set that night at the Renaissance Apartments and to setting a fire in a bathtub of a vacant apartment unit. Cole also accepted responsibility for setting a small trash fire on the Arkansas-side of State Line Avenue the same day.

Cole pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge for her behavior in Texarkana, Texas, and was sentenced to 18 days time served. Upon transfer to Miller County to address the fires set in Texarkana, Ark., concerns about Cole’s mental health were raised by members of the public defenders office.

Cole was recently found competent. According to Cole’s psychological evaluation, she was motivated to set the fires out of anger at having no place to stay.

Cole pleaded guilty to arson and reckless burning at a hearing Tuesday before Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson. Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney recommended a probated sentence of six years. As a condition of probation, Cole must participate in counseling or other programs as directed by the probation department.

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