Local woman charged with arson at Columbia Trace

A local woman was arrested after she allegedly set her apartment on fire causing residents of Columbia Trace to flee in fear.
Chasity Dawn Stephens, 40, lived in the Columbia Trace Apartments off Columbia Avenue, and she remains incarcerated at Barren County after Tompkinsville Police Officer Richard Shirley arrested her and charged her with arson in the first degree, wanton endangerment in the first degree, assault in the third degree (police officer), escape in the third degree, public intoxication (controlled substance, excludes alcohol) and theft by unlawful taking or disposition/vehicle contents.
Tompkinsville Police and the Tompkinsville Fire Departments responded to the fire Monday afternoon. According to witnesses, Stephens exited her home wearing nothing but her underwear and a tank top. She was also carrying a knife and threatened a man outside the home, even taking the man’s checkbook from his car.
When police arrived, the investigation quickly led to Stephens being detained.
Once at the Police Station, the reports state that she “groped” one of the officers and slipped through the handcuffs.
Officers also added she admitted to setting fire to her apartment with a cigarette lighter on a video questioning session.
Stephens’ unit at the apartment was a complete loss with apartments on either side of her receiving smoke and water damage.

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