Augusta woman pleads guilty to arson in house fire

A 24-year-old Augusta mother of three pleaded guilty to arson Wednesday for setting fire to her rental home.

Janolyn B. Hyman entered a plea in Richmond County Superior Court of guilty but mentally retarded. On Dec. 8 Hyman set the living room curtains on fire at her 3614 Deans Bridge Road trailer home and walked outside, Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers said. She later applied for and collected financial aid from the Red Cross, Myers said.

Hyman, who is pregnant, told her attorney that she set the fire because she was hearing voices, said Assistant Public Defender Rahmaan Bowick. She is on medication now and is determine to regain custody of her child who is in state custody, Bowick said.

Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced Hyman to two years probation under the First Offender Act. Continuing mental health treatment is a condition of probation.