Desteny Lamb, 23, Maumee, has been sentenced on a charge of insurance fraud, closing the final chapter on a 2015 house fire.
Lamb, her husband, Rickey, 25, and their children were living in a home in Lyons. While the family was away on the night of Saturday, Jan. 3, a fire broke out in the home.
Reports said the family lost everything.
The Fulton County community was quick to support the young family. Donations of clothing and other items poured in, while crowd funding website pages were established; at one point, just over $1,400 had been raised.
Matt Smithmyer, Lyons fire chief and a Fulton County sheriff deputy, said an initial examination could not determine a cause.
“Everything was frozen solid,” Smithmyer said.
The company that insured the home paid to have heat put into the wreckage. Smithmyer said after further examination, there were suspicions about the cause.
Later, an investigation by the insurance company, the State Fire Marshall office, and the Fulton County sheriff determined the fire was intentionally set.
Rickey Lamb was indicted on July 20, 2015.
The Fulton County Grand Jury handed down two counts of aggravated arson plus one count each of insurance fraud, grand theft, telecommunications fraud, and falsification in a theft offense.
In a press release announcing the indictment, Fulton County prosecutors said “On or about Jan. 3 to July 20, (Rickey) Lamb allegedly caused physical harm to an occupied structure in Lyons, and allegedly stole property valued at more than $7,500 but less than $150,000.
“He also allegedly disseminated or transmitted any writing by means of a telecommunications service in furtherance of a scheme to defraud.
“Finally, he allegedly presented an insurance claim valued at more than $7,500 but less than $150,000, knowing it was false.”
A jury trial was held in Fulton County Common Pleas Court, starting on Sept. 27, 2016.
After eight days in the courtroom, the jury was in deliberation for nine hours. When it returned, it handed down guilty verdicts on all the charges with the exception of one count of aggravated arson.
Desteny Lamb was indicted by a Fulton County Grand Jury on Nov. 21, 2016, on single counts of insurance fraud, grand theft, falsification in a theft offense, and perjury.
At the time, prosecutors said in a press release, “On or about Jan. 3, 2015, to Oct. 4, 2016, she allegedly stole property or services valued at $7,500 or more but less than $150,000, and allegedly presented an insurance claim valued at more than $7,500 but less than $150,000, knowing it was false.
“She also allegedly made a false statement to facilitate the commission of a theft offense.”
After Desteny Lamb’s indictment in November, Rickey Lamb was sentenced on Dec. 16, 2016, to six years in prison on aggravated arson, and 11 months on the other offenses. The sentences are to be served concurrently, for a total of six years.
Rickey Lamb was also ordered to pay $18,500 in restitution.
Desteny Lamb entered an Alford plea to one count of insurance fraud on May 16. She was sentenced on Monday, Aug. 7.
Scott Haselman, Fulton County prosecuting attorney, said in an Alford plea, “the defendant claims that he or she is actually innocent of the crime that he or she is charged with, but where the defendant recognizes that the evidence that is available to the state would likely be sufficient to obtain a conviction.
“This type of plea allows the defendant to maintain his or her innocence, recognizes that the facts are likely against them, and allows the defendant to avoid the possibility of being convicted of a more significant crime or from receiving a more substantial punishment.”
She was sentenced to seven days at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, placed on community control for two years, pay $6,500 in restitution jointly with Rickey Lamb, her co-defendant, and complete a theft intervention class.
Failure to comply could result in a seven-month prison sentence.
Rickey Lamb is presently an inmate at the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution, Lima.
Jodi Factor, public information officer, said Allen Oakwood houses about 1,600 minimum-to-mediumsecurity inmates.