Woman charged with setting fire to daughter’s home

Published 1:00 am Tuesday, March 17, 2015


The mother of a woman who lost her home in a fire on Anderson Loop last Monday has been charged with arson.

Julie Elane Harris, 50, 107 Anderson Loop, Elizabethton, was arrested Monday morning by Carter County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Bradley Johnson on the arson charges.

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On March 9, CCSD Sgt. Brian Durham and Deputy David Caldwell were dispatched to 107 Anderson Loop in response to a report of a suicidal woman armed with a knife.

At the home, they were met by resident Kyndra Gunter, who told officers she was awakened by her mother screaming. Gunter told officers she had confronted Harris, who allegedly told her she was suicidal and homicidal. Seeing that her mother had a knife, Gunter removed her 12-year-old son from the home and called 911, Johnson said.

Officers tried to get Harris to leave the home, and when she did, she exited the home with a lighter in each hand, Johnson said. While talking with officers, Harris reportedly told them her bed was on fire.

Gunter returned into the home, where she found smoke. When she looked in the bedroom, she discovered that the bed was on fire, Johnson said. The CCSD then notified the fire department, which came to the scene.

On March 10, officers returned to the home to investigate the fire. The investigation confirmed the fire started in Harris’ bedroom, Johnson said. It was also confirmed that no one else had been in the home but Harris, Gunter and the boy and that no smoke or fire had been present until Harris’ statement about the bed being on fire.

A warrant was issued Thursday for Harris’ arrest. Bond has been set at $5,000. As of Monday afternoon, no court date had been set with the Carter County Circuit Court Clerk’s office.