Moses Lake woman accused of perjury in mobile home fire

July 18, 2013 

— A Moses Lake woman was accused of lying about the circumstances surrounding a fire at her mobile home.

Maria H. Hernandez Martinez, 46, was charged with second-degree perjury in Grant County Superior Court recently.

It started in August 2012, when the fire marshal responded to a mobile home fire on Road 4 Northeast.

It was reported the cause of the fire was undetermined, but a window air conditioner was in the area where the fire started.

According to the sheriff’s report there was a previous fire at the same location in May 2009.

While investigating the August 2012 fire, an odor of ignitable liquid was reportedly detected on the wall. A dog used in the search also found accelerant found in other areas.

In September 2012, Hernandez Martinez reported a loss of $3,800 that was left in a bag on the sofa of the mobile home.

Investigators reportedly found no evidence of the missing cash or burned residue on the sofa. They found a TV inside the mobile home that had no visible signs of fire damage and did not appear in pictures that were taken at the scene after the fire.

Hernandez Martinez allegedly reported damages on the television to her insurance company.

On Sept. 14, 2012, Hernandez Martinez was interviewed and said she left with her three children the morning of the fire. She also stated there were no flammable liquids stored inside the mobile home besides perfume and medicinal alcohol. Hernandez Martinez also reported two TVs were damaged in the fire.

When she was questioned about the pictures not showing the TVs Hernandez Martinez explained they were hidden under clothes and blankets, according to the sheriff’s report.

Hernandez Martinez reiterated in the interview she had lost $3,800 and there have been no fires at her home in the past and she hadn’t made any previous insurance claims.

According to court documents, insurance records showed that Hernandez Martinez made a claim for her mobile home in 2009 and a stolen vehicle that was found burnt.

Later in September 2012, a lab confirmed that gasoline was in the mobile home.

Hernandez Martinez was interviewed again by investigators on Sept. 25 and stated in a signed affidavit she had two TVs in the bedroom, was missing $3,800 and did not store propane, gasoline or white gas in her mobile home.

An investigator wrote there wasn’t enough evidence for arson, but believed charges should be filed for perjury.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service