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Corvallis woman accused in string of fires
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Corvallis woman accused in string of fires


A Corvallis woman was arraigned Thursday afternoon in Benton County Circuit Court for allegedly setting multiple fires across the city this week.

Diana Leigh Roberts, 37, was arrested most recently on Wednesday afternoon on charges of reckless burning, second-degree disorderly conduct, second-degree criminal mischief, interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Ipson said in court that the arrest was Roberts’ fourth in two days. He asked Judge Locke Williams to not release her despite the charges only being misdemeanors. He said mental health issues were involved in her case.

“Ms. Roberts poses a danger to the community,” he said. “In the last few days she’s set four fires.”

Williams set Roberts’ bail at $3,000.

Court documents filed by prosecutors said an officer was called to a report of someone setting a fire at the Corvallis Skate Park around 3 p.m. Wednesday. The responding officer reportedly spotted Roberts next to a burning bush and witnesses reported that she started two fires in the park. Roberts reportedly resisted arrest, but was taken into custody.

The report notes community members put out the fires with buckets of water.

Roberts was also arrested early Wednesday for a charge of offensive littering. According to a Corvallis Police Department report, she was burning paper in Central Park. Roberts was also arrested for criminal trespassing on Tuesday.

A CPD call log from Monday afternoon reported that an officer was dispatched to 1530 SE Alexander Ave. for a report of Roberts setting a fire. The responding officer’s investigation concluded that she had stolen a lighter and a marijuana pipe from a nearby residence and used the former to start a fire in a pile of woodchips on a table in an outbuilding at the address. The officer arrested Roberts for charges of second-degree criminal trespassing, third-degree theft and reckless burning.

Williams appointed Christian Stahl as Roberts’ attorney. However, Roberts, who appeared in court by video, said she didn’t want Stahl.

“No more lawyer,” she said. “Never, never, never.”

Williams asked Roberts to remain quiet as Stahl spoke, but she kept talking.

“Keep your mouth shut. You don’t represent me, Stahl,” she said.

Williams eventually muted Roberts’ microphone and said Stahl would still represent her.

Stahl entered not guilty pleas on Roberts’ behalf to all the charges in the cases.​

Anthony Rimel covers education and crime in Benton County and weekend events across the Mid-Valley. He can be reached at or 541-812-6091.


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