Convicted arsonist gets 90 days in jail

A Jaffrey woman was recently sentenced to 360 days in jail with 270 days suspended for two years, pending good behavior, after she was convicted of attempting to set fire to her mobile home at 23 Forest Park last month. She will spend 90 days in the Cheshire County House of Corrections.

Mary Jane Britch, 48, of Jaffrey was arrested and charged with reckless conduct and arson on May 11, after she admitted to starting the fire at her residence, in interviews with police and authorities from the State Fire Marshal’s Office, according to a probable cause affidavit filed at the 8th Circuit Court in Jaffrey. She was held at the time of her arrest in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

In the affidavit, N.H. Fire Investigator Keith Rodenhiser wrote that on May 10, Jaffrey Police Lt. Terry Choate went to Britch’s home, where she said someone had tried to set her home on fire the previous night. Choate observed smoke and fire damage near both the front and rear door of the house, according to the affidavit.

Jaffrey Fire Chief David Chamberlain found at the scene indications that the fire had been set from inside the home. The affidavit also notes that Britch gave police consent to check her cell phone, and a text message was found that read in part, “Not going to be here. Burning the place.”

— by Alyssa Dandrea

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