VALE — Malheur County Circuit Court has set a jury trial date for an Ontario woman facing arson and attempted murder charges, after a plea hearing on Wednesday.
Marissa Dionne, who was 24 when she was arrested, has a jury trial scheduled for Dec. 9 after pleading not guilty to charges of attempt to commit murder, arson in the first degree, attempt to commit a class A felony and arson in the second degree. In a separate case, Dionne pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine. The jury trial for that case is set for Feb. 3.
The plea hearing on Wednesday was originally scheduled for July, but was pushed back as Dionne was sent to the Oregon State Hospital for a psychological evaluation.
This was the second time in 2019 that Dionne went to the State Hospital for an evaluation. She was sent to the hospital in late February for an aid and assist evaluation following her first plea hearing. According to Malheur County District Attorney Dave Goldthorpe, the second evaluation was an evaluation to see what her mental state was at the time of the crime.
Goldthorpe said the evaluation was due to the defense filing a notice of intent to rely on an insanity defense.
The fire started on Jan. 13, when officers responded to a call of an unwanted subject in the 200 block of Northwest Seventh on Jan. 13, they encountered Dionne near the front of the residence, and one of the officers saw something like a flash of light near the back of the house.
Upon checking into the light, the officer found the back door to be on fire.
Based on the evidence gathered at the scene, as well as from Dionne, police arrested her on charges of arson in the first degree.
After looking at the “totality of the circumstances,” Malheur County District Attorney David Goldthorpe said, attempted murder was also added to the charges filed.
It is believed the victim, who is disabled and wheelchair-bound, and Dionne knew each other.
Both charges Dionne faces are Measure 11 crimes, meaning they carry a mandatory minimum sentence in the state of Oregon. If charged for those crimes, Dionne would face a mandatory minimum of 180 months in prison, as each carries a 90-month minimum.