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Woman Sentenced to NJ State Prison for Residential Arson

Morris County


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Authorities in Morris County announced that Shonette St. Clair, 46, formerly of Branchburg, has been sentenced to 11 years in New Jersey State Prison.

Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Chief of Detectives Robert McNally, and Wharton Borough Police Chief Dave Young reported on June 7 a Morris County jury found St. Clair guilty of a number of crimes following a six-day trial.

According to officials, St. Clair was found guilty of second-degree Aggravated Arson (two counts), second-degree Attempt to Cause Widespread Injury or Damage, and disorderly persons Simple Assault.

The jury also found St. Clair not guilty of fourth-degree Criminal Mischief.

Authorities say evidence at trial established that on March 8, 2021, emergency first responders, including the Wharton Borough Police and Mine Hill Fire Department, were dispatched to a residential structure fire on Joseph Lane in Mine Hill.

Upon arrival, officials said they located an active fire in a multi-unit townhome structure. 

Officials say one of the residents, who reported having escaped through a window, was located outside the unit.

The resident was transported to the hospital for medical treatment, including smoke inhalation.

Officials said that after the fire was extinguished, investigators determined the cause of the fire to be incendiary and identified four points of origin on the exterior of the residence.

Shonette St. Clair was later identified as a suspect, and subsequent investigation revealed her to have been in the area of the residence at the time of the fire.

According to officials, on August 11, 2023, the Honorable Ralph E. Amirata, J.S.C., sentenced St. Clair, imposing an aggregate term of 11 years in New Jersey State Prison.