STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – UPDATE 1:40 PM — A judge has dismissed charges against Mona Siwiec, ruling she was legally insane at the time of her crime. She must complete court-ordered outpatient therapy
A Monroe County business owner charged with arson was back in court Thursday, more than a year after the devastating fire in downtown Stroudsburg.
At this point, it appears there won’t be any plea deal, trial or sentencing for the crime.
A judge is trying to determine if Mona Siwiec was legally insane at the time of her crime, which displaced nine tenants, including a one-week-old baby. If she is found legally insane, the criminal case would be dismissed.
As 64-year-old Mona Siwiec leaves her court hearing, the Weatherbee’s feel justice isn’t being served.
“I know this is not going to happen, but I would like her to go to jail. I know that’s not possible,” says George Weatherbee.
Last February, the couple lost everything in the fire and were homeless for about a month. They’ll never forget waking up to their second floor apartment filling with smoke.
“And at that moment we heard the fire trucks, and we knew we had to get out,” Suzanne Weatherbee recalls.
In 2011, Eyewitness News interviewed Siwiec for a ‘Black Friday’ story at her jewelry store. At that time, she told the camera, “it doesn’t always look promising in the Wall Street Journal, but it does look promising on Main Street!”
She’s accused of setting fire to that business, which also destroyed apartments and offices in the building. Investigators say after the blaze, they found Siwiec parked outside a Northampton County police station, covered by newspaper and an umbrella and in the back seat.
“I mean, I suffer from mental health and I understand certain aspects. But I would never, never in a million years think of setting a place on fire,” Suzanne says.
Crews recently tore down the rear of 617 Main Street, a place the Weatherbee’s once called home. “It was just a horrible ordeal for both of us to go through,” George recalls.
The judge decided to reconvene Thursday’s hearing on July 8th. On that day, we’re expected to find out if Siwiec will be found legally insane.
Although criminal charges would be dismissed, Siwiec could still face civil penalties.
Victims were allowed to address the court Thursday, and they can do the same again in July, although the judge says it won’t affect the outcome.