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Arson suspect denies new charges

Updated: November 30, 2012 11:10AM

An Aurora woman pleaded not guilty this week to charges she deliberately set a fire in June that injured a man and killed one of his two dogs.

Mary Mueller was recently indicted in Kane County on multiple counts of arson, as well as charges of criminal damage to property, aggravated animal cruelty and aggravated battery to a police officer, records show. Mueller is being held in the Kane County jail on $75,000 bail, with a hearing scheduled for Sept. 26.

The indictment added new charges against Mueller, including animal cruelty because one of the man’s dogs died. She also now is accused of aggravated battery because a police officer suffered smoke inhalation while responding to the fire, records show.

Mueller reportedly told police she lit curtains on fire in the Grant Place apartment she shared with the 52-year-old man who owned the building. The man awoke when his two dogs started crying as smoke filled his bedroom early on June 30. The man told police he noticed his smoke detector had been removed from the room. Investigators later found the smoke detector.

The man had sought an order of protection from Mueller just a few days before the fire, alleging Mueller stopped taking her medications and had stolen some of his possessions. A judge denied the request, which would have legally barred Mueller from the apartment.

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