A former tenant accused of setting a fire at a Massachusetts apartment building that claimed the lives of four people pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Friday and was held without bail.
Yvonne Ngoiri, 36, faces four counts of second-degree murder, as well as arson and assault charges in connection with the May 14 fire in Worcester. Among the victims was a man who in 2018 had sued right-wing radio host Alex Jones ′ Infowars website.
Ngoiri, who once lived in the building, was taken into custody Thursday, Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.'s office said in a statement.
A phone message seeking comment was left with the suspect's attorney.
The cause of the fire at the three-story, six-unit building in the early hours of May 14 was determined to be "arson," according to the district attorney's office, but no motive was disclosed in court. She is scheduled to return to court on November 29.
The victims have previously been identified as Joseph Garchali, 47; Christopher Lozeau, 53; Vincent Page, 41; and Marcel Fontaine, 29.
“The cause of their deaths involved smoke inhalation and thermal injuries,” the district attorney's statement said.
Additionally, several residents were injured, including one who jumped from a third-story window and two who suffered smoke inhalation. The building had about 20 tenants. Two nearby buildings were also damaged.
Fontaine sued Infowars in Texas in 2018. The lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, said Infowars posted his photograph on its website on the day of the Parkland, Florida, shooting, depicting him as the gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people died.
Infowars' attorneys responded that Fontaine did not show any evidence of malice or injury due to the publication of his photo.
Fontaine's attorney has said the case will continue on behalf of his estate. That case is pending, according to Texas court records.