Police: Baltimore shooting helped solve York City arson case
Apparently jealous that her boyfriend was cheating on her, a Baltimore woman came to York City to douse the flame of forbidden love by torching the car of her romantic rival, according to police.
Sharnicka Monique Lee will be charged with two counts of felony arson as well as the misdemeanors of reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, charging documents state.
Lee, 33, of the 8500 block of Willow Oak Road, had not been arraigned on her charges or had bail set in the case as of Tuesday, Jan. 1.
According to York City Police, Natasha Sutherland and her children drove to their Madison Avenue home about 9 p.m. Oct. 9, 2017, then parked and went inside.
Once inside, Sutherland noticed a woman going into Sutherland's Buick Terraza and saw a flickering light inside the minivan, charging documents state.
Fled without lights: Sutherland ran outside to find her minivan in flames, then saw the woman flee in a silver car going the wrong way on North West Street with the headlights out, police said.
"The gas tank lid was left open with something stuffed into the gas tank funnel," lead Detective Tony Fetrow wrote in charging documents. "Matches were also found to the rear of the vehicle, on the ground."
York City's Department of Fire/Rescue Services investigated, determined the fire was intentionally set and estimated damages at $2,000, documents state.
That minivan arson might have gone unsolved if not for an attempted murder in Baltimore County.
According to Fetrow's documents, a man was shot in the head when he left his Baltimore County home about 5:30 a.m. Nov. 14, 2017.
Baltimore County Police investigated and arrested Jamar Abdul Yewitt, 41, of Baltimore, according to Maryland court records. He is currently facing charges including attempted first-degree murder.
Text messages: Detectives there found a series of text messages between Yewitt and Sutherland and between Yewitt and Lee around the time the minivan was torched, and they passed on the information to York City Police, according to Fetrow.
Baltimore County Police also were able to confirm that Lee is Yewitt's girlfriend, but police said Yewitt had denied that to Sutherland at the time they were dating.
Charging documents indicate Lee's Facebook posts at the time included "When you gotta ... put a match to someone (and) I'm trying to be a changed person Lord fix my attitude."
Sutherland later told police that after she stopped seeing Yewitt, annoying calls and texts she'd been receiving stopped, documents state.
Police said it's suspected Lee made those calls and texts.
Lee's cellphone also showed that in the hour before the vehicle arson, her cellphone first starting hitting on cell towers in Baltimore, then started hitting on cell towers in York City around the time of the arson, documents state.
After the minivan was torched, Lee's phone shows she made her way back to Baltimore, charging documents indicate.
Lee could not be reached for comment.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.