FRONT ROYAL – A woman accused of setting fire to a town apartment last month remains held in jail without bond.
Alicia Ford Hullihan appeared in Warren County General District Court on Tuesday where she stands charged with arson of an occupied building. Judge W. Dale Houff ordered Hullihan to remain in custody at the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail without bond. Houff appointed the Office of the Public Defender to represent Hullihan, 47, now of 1308 Madison Ave., Front Royal. Houff scheduled Hullihan’s next court appearance for March 19.
The charge carries a presumption against release on bond. A judge can decide if other factors can overcome the presumption. Houff said he could not see setting bail for Hullihan given the presumption against bond and the nature of the charge.
Front Royal police arrested Hullihan on Feb. 6 and charged her with arson in connection with a Jan. 4 fire in a Virginia Avenue apartment building. The fire killed six cats inside the apartment and forced other residents out of the building.
Units from the Front Royal Police Department and the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services responded to a structure fire at 204 Virginia Ave., Apt. 409, on Jan. 4. The fire marshal eliminated accidental causes as part of the investigation, Front Royal police detective Marc Ramey notes in the criminal complaint filed with the arrest warrant.
“Irregular burn patterns were found on the surface of the kitchen floor consistent with a fire that was purposefully ignited,” the complaint states. “Upon interviewing Hullihan, she admitted that she was the last person inside the house less than 30 minutes prior to the fire being discovered.”
Hullihan had locked the deadbolt with her key. Firefighters found the deadbolt locked when they arrived, the complaint states.
“Upon searching Hullihan’s communications devices, she makes reference to setting a fire and not wanting to move all of her and her husband’s stuff on several occasions,” the complaint states. “Hullihan admitted to being alone when she left, and no one stayed at her apartment.
“Due to the evidence present, the fire was intentionally set,” the complaint goes on to state. “Upon looking at the apartment it appears Hullihan had removed some of her personal effects prior to the fire. Hullihan was also due to be out of the apartment just a few days after the fire started, according to the landlord.”