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Provo woman set fire to teach a lesson, charges say

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Nov 8th, 2018 @ 5:45pm

PROVO — A Provo woman who claimed she wanted to teach another woman a lesson about being nice to others faces criminal charges for allegedly trying to "melt" the woman's property.

Jodie Ann Smith, 59, was charged Thursday in 4th District Court with arson, a second-degree felony.

Smith was at the Traveler's Inn motel, 70 E. 300 South, on Sunday when she got into a fight with another woman staying in the room with her, according to charging documents.

"Jodie stated that she tried to help the female by giving her some property, but the female began to take advantage of Jodie's generosity. Jodie stated that she caught the female going through her property and knew that the female stole her DVD player and additional property. Jodie stated this made her very upset," according to a police affidavit.

Smith kicked the woman out of the room, the charges state. The woman then placed her belongings next to a truck in the parking lot while trying to figure out where she was going to stay.

But Smith, still angry, said she then saw a tin can and originally had the idea of throwing tomato juice on the woman's belongings, "but decided to go another route," the affidavit states.

Smith put on all black clothing, walked over to the other woman's bag, placed the tin can next to it, placed napkins in the tin can, lit them on fire and left, according to the charges.

She later told investigators that she "wanted to teach the woman a lesson about mistreating people so she wanted to melt the woman's property," the charges state.

As Smith walked back to her room, she saw the flames, according to charging documents, but "didn't think the fire would be that big and still wanted to melt the property. The fire spread to the property and three vehicles, causing approximately $10,000 worth of damage."

Court records show Smith has a criminal history that includes theft and forgery charges as well as mental illness.

Pat Reavy

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