Tennessee Woman And Her 80-Year-Old Grandmother Facing Arson Charges

Authorities said Ashley Barner admitted to intentionally leaving a candle near a yarn doll in a bedroom of the home — and implicated her grandmother in the plot as well.

By Jill Sederstrom
Digital Original
Killers With Fire: Arson Murders

A Tennessee woman and her 80-year-old grandmother are facing arson charges after a blaze at the family’s home.

Authorities have arrested Ashley Barner, 28, and her grandmother, Peggy O’Neal, after the fire broke out on July 14 at their Murfreesboro house, causing smoke and heat damage throughout the home.

Murfreesboro Fire Marshal lead investigator Clay Malone said authorities later ruled the fire was the result of arson, and began to investigate the suspicious circumstances around the blaze, WSMV reports.

During their investigation, authorities said Barner admitted to intentionally leaving a lit candle next to a doll clothed in yarn on a table in a back bedroom of the home, according to local station WZTV.

She also implicated her grandmother in alleged plot. It’s not clear what role she said her grandmother had played in the scheme.

Most of the damage to the home was found in the back bedroom, where authorities believe the fire started.

Peggy Oneal Ashley Barner Pd

Barner was arrested on July 24, and has been charged with arson in connection with the alleged crime.

Her grandmother was arrested on Monday at her home and charged with conspiracy to commit arson and insurance fraud, The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal reports.

She had been a resident of the Murfreesboro home that caught on fire off Chamberlain Drive at the time of the blaze.

Both women are being held at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center in Murfreesboro on $100,000 bond each.

Authorities have released few other details about the allegations, but said additional information will be released to the public as it becomes available.

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