MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Cierra Queen Johnson was charged with arson and burglary Wednesday after an early-morning apartment fire in St. Anthony on Friday, July 5. A witness says Johnson threatened a woman because of her relationship with Johnson’s ex-partner, the criminal complaint states.
Johnson said she had reason to believe nobody was in the Equinox Apartments and wanted to set it on fire “just a little bit,” police say. The apartments are located at 2804 Silver Lane.
Police spoke to the woman allegedly threatened, who said her partner has a child with Johnson. Since July 3, Johnson allegedly threatened the woman repeatedly with phone calls, Facebook messages and video calls.
Johnson, a 31-year-old from Maple Grove, threatened to burn the apartment complex down if the two didn’t stop seeing each other, the complaint says.
Police say Johnson walked out of a Cub Foods Friday around 2:30 a.m. after buying lighter fluid and a lighter according to surveillance video and a receipt. Johnson told police a door was propped open when she entered around 2:45 a.m. and lit the hallway carpet on fire. She said it didn’t occur to her that others could be hurt by her actions.
Johnson told police she got the woman’s license plate and address from a bail bondsman connected to her previous partner, who Johnson says is a fugitive. She planned to set fire to the woman’s car or pop its tires, but she said she could not find the car.
Johnson’s maximum sentence is 20 years or a $20,000 fine, or both, for first degree arson of a dwelling. The second count, first degree burglary of an occupied dwelling, has a sentence of 20 years or a $35,000 fine, or both. She has two prior felony convictions.