The 42-year-old Kitchener woman who set a fire inside the Sunrise Centre Walmart last month "pleaded guilty" to arson on October 26.
The woman's defence lawyer, Hal Mattson, told Narcity she "pleaded guilty to the arson at the Walmart" and that "her position is that she was in a blackout state from alcohol consumption."
Mattson recognized that being in a blackout state is not a defence. However, he says his client does have underlying mental health issues.
"The combination I think of the mental health issues and overconsumption of alcohol probably put her in a blackout state."
On September 9 at around 9 p.m., "emergency services responded to a garbage bin that was set on fire outside of a business at the Sunrise Shopping Centre, located at 1400 Ottawa Street South," according to Waterloo regional police.
The fire was put out by the Kitchener fire department, however, another fire popped up, this time inside of a business in the shopping centre, which the department also extinguished.
According to The Hamilton Spectator, the woman entered the Walmart, took hand sanitizer, pocketed two beer cans in her purse and lit several rolls of toilet paper on fire using the sanitizer to help grow the flames.
The fire caused an estimated $3 million in damages to the store.
According to Waterloo Regional Police, she was charged with "Arson - Damage to Property, Arson - Disregard Human Life, Mischief over $5,000, Theft under $5,000 and Obstruct Police."
Mattson says the woman has had a psychiatric assessment done and that during the sentencing, he "will be suggesting that her sentencing should be less than it would be for other people because of her underlying mental health issue."
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.