Courtland woman to face grand juryPublished 10:40am Friday, May 24, 2013
BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
COURTLAND—A Courtland woman, accused of setting her Ivor Road home on fire on Feb. 20, will face a grand jury for arson.
Dyna Lewis, 46, stood Thursday before Judge Robert Brewbaker in Southampton County General District Court when he made the decision. For the misdemeanor charge of destruction of property, she got six months suspended on condition of 24 months good behavior. Further, full restitution must be paid to her husband, Hulon Lewis, 49. The amount is not yet determined, but he had previously estimated $40,000 in damages.
Hulon Lewis told the court he went to work the morning of the incident with no indication of any problems. His landlord called him later at work and said the place was on fire. Hulon has said previously he then called his wife, but got no answer. On arrival around 9 a.m., there were firefighters at the scene of his uninsured 22-year-old trailer.
“Most everything was destroyed. It was burned,” he said Thursday, adding he later noticed Dyna Lewis’s clothes were no longer in the house, but they had been when he left that morning.
“The smoke was very heavy,” said Lt. Matthew Nixon, a volunteer firefighter for Courtland. Inside, he and other firefighters found fire on one bed, adding there was a separate fire in a closet. The door was hot to the touch at the opposite end of the trailer, and fire was on another bed, said Nixon, who added all three spots were quickly extinguished. He also broke a window to release smoke.
Meanwhile, Dyna Lewis was on the road, but had been stopped by Emporia police sometime between 7 and 8 a.m. Court records indicate Lewis was charged with reckless driving and felony eluding for allegedly going 88 miles per hour in a 60-mph zone and running a stop sign. She was taken to Southside Regional Jail without bond, but has since been released on bond.
Sgt. Wanda Covington of the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office said during the interview with Dyna Lewis, that Lewis stated that to start the fires, she used oil from a lamp that belonged to her grandmother.
Covington also said the accused claims she has suffered long-term abuse at the hands of her husband.