Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Divorcee’s Alleged Revenge Ended with 20 Homes Destroyed in Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | Feb 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

Adrienne Satterly has been accused of setting her house on fire and consequently burning 20 other houses in Paulding County. Satterly is facing fourteen counts of first-degree arson. According to the reports, Satterly had just lost her house in a recent divorce, and her response was to set a large pile of mattresses on fire in the dining room. She allegedly led the house with both of her cats and walked to a Walmart and then called 911 to report the fire. All of her neighbors made it out of their homes, but two dogs and a cat, which also result in more charges for Satterly. On top of the first-degree arson charges, she is also facing three counts of aggravated animal cruelty in Georgia.

Let's take a closer look at the first-degree arson charge faced by Satterly.

First-Degree Arson in Georgia 

Arson is considered a very serious crime in Georgia. Arson is broken down into three degrees. All three degrees are considered felonies in Georgia. A person is guilty of first-degree arson if they “by means of fire or explosion, whether or not in the commission of a felony, he or she knowingly damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage any dwelling house, building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure of another…

  • ...without his or her consent... 
  • which another has a security interest, including but not limited to a mortgage, a lien, or a conveyance to secure debt... 
  • ...whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant... 
  • designed for use as a dwelling... 
  • insured against loss or damage by fire or explosive and such loss or damage is accomplished without the consent of both the insurer and the insured... 
  • ...with the intent to defeat, prejudice, or defraud the rights of a spouse or co-owner... 
  • reasonably foreseeable that human life might be endangered." O.C.G.A. §16-7-60.

If you are convicted of first-degree arson, you may receive a prison sentence of one to twenty years, a fine up to $50,000, or both.

Graf v. State, 760 S.E.2d 613 (Ga. App. 2014), a Georgia arson case, had a similar set of facts. Much like the report of Satterly, Graf left her Forsyth County home with her cats and all of her valuables. She had recently been through a divorce and had just stopped receiving alimony. According to her ex-husband, Graf had been complaining about a lack of money. She was accused of intentionally setting fire to her home. After the fire, she received around $10,000 for the losses and her insurance covered the outstanding mortgage on the house. The jury concluded that there was sufficient evidence to find that she had committed arson in the first degree. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with arson in Georgia, you need to contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer today. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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