Jury finds Hulsey guilty of all charges in the 'Jack B. Nimble' case
Sat, 18 May 2013 19:52:17 GMT —
Saturday afternoon jurors found Claudette Hulsey, 47, guilty of setting fire to the Jack B. Nimble Children's Clothing Store in Hartsville and lying about a robbery.
When the verdict was read friends and family of Hulsey cried, while she showed no emotion.
After four and a half hours of deliberation the jury found Hulsey guilty of all four charges:
Arson/Burning Personal Property to Defraud Insurer, Presenting False Claim for Insurance Payment, Making False Insurance Claim to Obtain Benefits for Fire Loss, and Arson/Third degree.
Judge Thomas Cooper sentenced Hulsey to five years in prison for the Arson charge. He reduced it to 18 months probation. For the remaining three charges Cooper sentenced Hulsey to 18 months in prison, both to be served consecutively.
He said her crime was an "act of desperation, crime against innocent people."
The trial began Monday morning in Darlington County.
Hulsey set fire to the Jack B. Nimble store on January 26, 2011, according to arrest warrants. She was also accused of lying about two men robbing and assaulting her before setting the fire and leaving her to die.
The warrant states Hulsey made conflicting statements during the investigation and that her financial records and medical reports were not consistent with her statements to investigators.
Hulsey's report of the crime led many working in the downtown Hartsville area to fear for their safety, Hartsville police stepped up patrols in the area, and the Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce offered a reward of more than $20,000 for information leading to an arrest.