Department of Public Safety
Huntsville, Alabama 35801
Public Safety Director
Dr. Karen Sheppard
Woman Arrested in Arson for Profit Scheme
Huntsville, Alabama ( February 23, 2007) Public Safety Director Rex Reynolds announced this afternoon a major arrest in a two year long investigation involving a woman who allegedly set houses on fire to collect insurance monies with homeowners. Reynolds said 44-year-old Kimberly Winona Baldwin Leslie has been booked into the Madison County Jail on 5 felony charges: Making Terrorist Threats; Arson 2nd Degree; Extortion 1st Degree and 2 counts of Conspiracy to Commit Arson 2nd Degree. Bond has been set at $66,000. Additional arrests of individuals are expected.
Arson Investigators with Huntsville Fire and Rescue and Huntsville Police Department say they have evidence that links Leslie to at least three cases where houses were deliberately set on fire. Reynolds said our Investigators have been working the case jointly; they compared evidence and began to notice a similar pattern in the arson cases. The investigation also includes insurance companies that are working with the Department of Public Safety. Reynolds said because the investigation is ongoing the Department will not release the addresses of the houses involved at this time. Reynolds added, “Because our Investigators are pulling together as a team, working under the umbrella of DPS, we expect to solve a number of cold arson cases. If anyone has information to share with our Investigators concerning Kimberly Leslie, they should contact the Bureau of Fire Prevention at 427-5150.”