Charges filed in fatal Hobart fire

Roni Coonen-Anderson (Photo source: Brown Co. Jail)

GREEN BAY - Only days away from the one-year anniversary of a fatal fire, an Oneida woman now sits in Brown County Jail, charged with murder and arson.

Roni Coonen Anderson, 47, is accused of starting two fires, including one that killed 89-year-old Harold Ambrosius.

The fire that killed Ambrosuis happened at his home on Overland Road in Hobart on June 12, 2015.

The other fire Anderson is accused of starting was at a quarry office building on South Pine Tree Road on October 8, 2015. According to court documents, witness interviews and surveillance video tie Anderson to that fire.

"She started two different fires on two different dates last year," said Karen Behling, an assistant district attorney for Brown County.

RELATED | Fatal house fire in Hobart

According to a criminal complaint, several witnesses and emergency responders told police they pulled up to the June fire and saw Anderson kneeling over Ambrosius' lifeless body in the front yard. Some witnesses told police Anderson wouldn't let anyone try to help Ambrosius.

One witness told police Anderson was 'incoherent and was wailing.' The witness called Anderson's actions 'not genuine and almost as if it was something she thought she needed to do' and that she 'never saw any tears.'

However, Anderson told police she believed Ambrosius started the fire on purpose and she felt that he tried to kill her.

According to the complaint, since the fire, state investigators have been performing DNA tests. Results from those tests came back ten days ago showing DNA, most likely from Anderson, was found under Ambrosius' fingernails and on his underwear. The complaint does not say why investigators wanted the DNA tests done.

"The complaint only contains allegations at this point," said John Herman, a public defense intern representing Ambrosius in court on Monday.

Anderson was issued a $100,000 cash bond.

"She clearly has a propensity to start fires, which makes her an extreme danger to our community," said Behling.

"She is not able to post any cash at this time and looking at her scant criminal history, her likelihood to not appear is minimal," said Herman.

Anderson is due back in court on Friday.

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