South Carolina Mother Accused of Insurance Arson; Fire Killed Son, 12

January 10, 2020

A jury has been chosen to hear the case against a South Carolina woman accused of having a vacant trailer home burned for insurance money, not knowing her son had taken shelter there from a storm. The 12-year-old boy died.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports that Marissa Cohen is charged with arson, conspiracy and unlawful conduct toward a child.

The body of Dave Sycience Coombs was found in his former home near Andrews after a fire was reported there about 1:30 a.m. March 29, 2014, investigators said. He had died of smoke inhalation.

Randy Collins is serving the minimum 30 years on the arson charge. He said that he was offered $5,000 of the $25,000 insurance to set the trailer on fire, and was with his nephew when the nephew set it ablaze. The nephew was killed by Coombs’ teenage brother, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is serving 16 years.

Investigators said Cohen bought renter’s insurance for the trailer a month before the fire and then moved her items into storage, telling friends the trailer had electrical problems. A tipster reported that she bought kerosene the morning of the fire, according to the newspaper.

A jury of eight women and four men was chosen Monday in Georgetown County to hear the case.

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