Georgetown County woman on trial in connection to mobile home fire that killed her son

Georgetown County woman on trial in connection to mobile home fire that killed her son
Foto: MGN Image (Source: Foto: MGN Image)

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WMBF) – A woman charged in connection with a 2014 mobile home fire in Andrews that left her 12-year-old son dead is facing a jury this week.

According to information from the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, a jury was picked Monday in the case of Marissa Cohen, who is facing charges of murder, first-degree arson, criminal conspiracy and unlawful neglect of a child.

Opening statements were held Tuesday and the jury heard from six witnesses, according to the spokesperson for the solicitor’s office.

A previous release from the solicitor’s office states first responders were called to 10 James Drive in Andrews in the early-morning hours of March 29, 2014 for a mobile home fire. Once the blaze was extinguished, the body of 12-year-old Dave Sycience Coombs was found in the living room area, prosecutors said.

Investigators said Cohen had purchased renter’s insurance for the mobile home a month before the fire, the release stated. She also allegedly told friends and family that there were electrical issues in the mobile home.

Cohen and her children were reportedly staying with friends in an Andrews apartment complex at the time of the fire. Coombs had attended a birthday party at the Andrews Recreational Center the night of March 28 and was walking home with a friend when it started to rain heavily, the release said. He ultimately went to the mobile home on James Drive and went to sleep before the fire was ignited.

Authorities received an anonymous tip that Cohen had also purchased kerosene that morning, even though the new apartment she was living in had central heat and air conditioning, according to the press release. Fire investigators said they found multiple kerosene and electrical heaters in the mobile home and four different areas where accelerant had been poured on the floor.

Randy Collins, an Andrews man who was interviewed by police, confessed that Cohen had offered him $5,000 of the $25,000 she had in renter’s insurance on the mobile home for him to set it ablaze, according to the solicitor’s office.

Investigators said Collins admitted he told his nephew, James Miller, about the offer. He also told authorities that he was with Miller when Miller went to the home and set it on fire.

In November 2018, Collins was convicted of criminal conspiracy and first-degree arson. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

In April 2015, Devon Coombs, Sycience Comb’s older brother, shot and killed James Miller in Andrews, the release stated. Coombs pleaded guilty in 2017 to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Coombs, Cohen, Miller, and Collins are reportedly related.

Devon Coombs told the Court at his sentencing that he shot and killed Miller because Miller killed his little brother, according to the prosecution.

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