A serial arson suspect, who a New York judge freed without bail Monday, ignited a new investigation less than two hours later on armed robbery charges, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
Amanda Burnside, a Southampton woman who was accused of lighting fires at three houses, was released on her own recognizance despite prosecutors’ request that the judge set bail at $500,000 or $1 million bond.
A judge ordered her to report for supervised release within 72 hours.
Instead, according to authorities, she waited less than two hours before she acquired a knife, went into a Dollar Tree store and tried to rob it.
The fiasco prompted District Attorney Ray Tierney, the lead prosecutor in the Gilgo Beach serial killer case, to blast the state’s bail laws.
“Clearly, the dangerousness of this defendant, who allegedly tried to ignite three homes on fire, was not adequately considered, given that within two hours of her arraignment, she allegedly committed another serious, violent felony,” Tierney said Monday night.
“Furthermore, the danger that this defendant posed to society could never be adequately considered insofar as dangerousness is not a bail factor that judges can consider under New York State law.”
New York’s unpopular bail reform laws have been a thorny issue for Democrats in the state and local jurisdictions.
Suffolk County Republican Ed Romaine will become the first GOP county executive in 20 years after last week’s election win.
He campaigned relentlessly against soft-on-crime policies, and ads supporting his campaign bluntly told county residents, “We don’t need another liberal.”
Republicans now control all countywide seats in Suffolk and Nassau counties – two large suburbs east of New York City – and all four congressional seats in the region.