A court martial of a petty officer accused of setting fire to a Virginia apartment building in 2015 is scheduled to begin January 21 at Naval Station Norfolk.
Yeoman 2nd Class Charmaine K. March faces one aggravated arson charge in the Oct. 28, 2015 blaze at a two-story apartment building in the Abbington Landing complex in the 900 block of Marcus Drive in Newport News.
Crews arrived around 9:30 p.m. and got the blaze under control about 25 minutes later, according to a news report.
Investigators began to suspect foul play the following day. March was charged with felony arson in Newport News in early 2016 but the case was dropped in mid-2018, according to online court records.
The Navy picked it up in August 2018 and charged March with violating Article 126 of the the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A motions hearing in her case was set for January 2019 but cancelled.
March’s court-martial trial is slated to run four days.
Her military attorney, Navy Lt. Justin E. Bass, pointed out in an email to Navy Times that the case was previously dismissed in Newport News Circuit Court but he declined further comment.
Navy prosecutors did not respond to a request for comment sent through Naval Region Mid-Atlantic public affairs.
March has been assigned to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth since March 2017 and joined the Navy in 2012.
At the time of the incident, she served on board the Norfolk-based guided-missile cruiser San Jacinto.
Courtney Mabeus is a senior writer at Navy Times. Mabeus previously covered the military for The Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Va., where she first set foot on an aircraft carrier.