Alleged serial arsonist released by judge, gets arrested within two hours for armed robbery

SOUTHAMPTON, NY - Serial arson suspect, Amanda Burnside who has been accused of setting fires at three houses, was released without bail by a judge and arrested within two hours on armed robbery charges.

According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Burnside was released on her own recognizance despite prosecutors' request that the judge set bail at $500,000 or a $1 million bond. The judge ordered her to report for supervised release within 72 hours of being let go.

Instead of abiding by the judge's orders, Burnside waited less than two hours before she committed armed robbery. Authorities said that she waited less than two hours before finding a knife, going into a Dollar Tree and attempting to rob it.

In response, District Attorney Ray Tierney, who is also the lead prosector in the Gilgo Beach serial killer case, blasted the state's bail laws. He said, "Clearly, the dangerousness of this defendant, who allegedly tried to ignite three homes on fire, was not adequately considered, given that within two hours of her arraignment, she allegedly committed another serious, violent felony."

He added, "The danger that this defendant posed to society could never be adequately considered insofar as dangerousness is not a bail factor that judges can consider under New York State law."

According to the Daily Mail, Burnside attempted to set fire to three houses on Long Island. She has been charged with one count of second degree arson and two counts of attempted second degree arson, all of which are felonies in the state of New York. 

The Southampton Town Police Department reportedly received three reports of "someone trying to set their houses on fire" during the evening hours on Sunday, November 12th. Tierney said, "In the first one, she goes up to the house, pours accelerant, but can't get her lighter to work."

He added, "In the second one, she does the same thing. The homeowner comes out to confront her and she askes to use their lighter to start the fire. On the third one, she does the same thing again and this time gets her lighter to work, so she starts the fire."

Authorities said that she attempted to set fire to three residential houses on Oldfield Lane, West Tiana Road and Fairview Avenue. Police said, "Luckily, the homeowner was able to extinguish the fire and no one was injured." Burnside was arrested on scene and detained overnight until her arraingment on the morning of Monday, November 13th.

This is when Southampton Town Justice Gary J. Weber released the woman on her own recognizance. After then attempting to rob a Dollar Tree within two hours of that release, she was brought to the same court where her case will be processed by the same judge. 

With the second arrest, Burnside faces charges of first degree attempted robbery, which is classified as a felony. She also faces a criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree charge, which is a misdemeanor. Tierney said, "My office will continue to seek that defendants that pose a threat to public safety, remain in custody despite the obvious flaws to our law."

Fox News reported that New York's unpopular bail reform laws have been a "thorny" issue for Democrats in the state and local jurisdications. Suffolk County Republican Ed Romaine will become the first GOP county executive in nearly 20 years after winning the recent election. 
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