Lateisha Thomas

Lateisha Thomas

BELTON — A woman accused of several felonies in different cases, including arson, assault on a public servant, and possession, was sentenced to eight years probation and ordered to obtain substance abuse counseling.

Lateisha Thomas, 31, was accused of arson, a second-degree felony, assault on a peace officer, a third-degree felony, and possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram, a state jail felony. She was sentenced by Judge Steve Duskie.

Thomas pleaded guilty to arson and assault while the possession charge was dismissed in the 426th District Court.

Part of her plea agreement includes she enlists in substance abuse treatment by Feb. 8, 2022, or she will be interned into a substance abuse punishment facility, according to court records.

The assault of a public servant charge stems from the assault of a Bell County Jail correctional officer where Thomas hit the officer above the left eye with a closed fist, according to previous information from Lt. Robert Reinhard.

While in jail for that charge, Thomas was served with an arson warrant after starting several fires at a residence on the 900 block of West Avenue E, according to a news release from Temple Fire & Rescue spokesman Santos Soto.

Temple police officers arrived at the residence and observed the curtains were on fire, and Thomas answered the door holding a cigarette lighter, according to an arrest affidavit.

Thomas told officers she had just gotten out of jail, and everyone should die, so she set the fires. Officers noted on the report five different locations of the apartment on fire.

She also asked for mental help as she was arrested, according to the affidavit.

As part of their investigation, officers interviewed a man who lived there and told them Thomas had spent the night after being released from jail. When people in the home woke up the following day, he said Thomas yelled, broke things and set items on fire, using a nail polish remover to accelerate the flames, the affidavit said.

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