Bond Hearing in Mississippi Apartment Arson Case Resumes Thursday

April 9, 2014

A bond reduction hearing for a woman accused of setting a D’Iberville, Miss., apartment building on fire resumes Thursday in Harrison County Circuit Court.

Krystal Gonzalez and her attorney, Michael Crosby, are seeking a reduction in the $2 million bond set in D’Iberville Municipal Court. She is charged with first-degree arson.

Gonzalez, 26, is accused of starting a fire on Mardi Gras night that destroyed a 20-unit building at Arbor View apartments and displayed 40 residents.

Gonzalez is held at the Harrison County jail.

Before recessing, Circuit Judge Roger T. Clark told Crosby he would likely reduce Gonzalez’ bond, but how much remained to be seen. He said a revised version of Crosby’s motion – originally filed Saturday – was presented to him just before the hearing, along with the letter of support for Gonzalez. Clark said he wanted time to review the documents.

“I can tell you that I will probably lower the bond,” Clark said, “but to what extent I wouldn’t venture. If I’m going to consider it, I’ve got to have time to do so.”

Before Monday’s hearing, Crosby said he believes evidence will show Gonzalez did not set the fire intentionally. She had been at a parade in Biloxi on Fat Tuesday, returned to the apartment, lit a candle and was cooking, he said.

Crosby said he believes a candle ignited a large dried-flower arrangement and beauty supplies including makeup.

Gonzalez said she had been attending beauty school and wanted to open her own hair salon. She said she has worked as a bartender at Venues and the Golden Nugget, and in retail at a makeup store. She is from California and has lived in South Mississippi several years.

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