Woman who set fire to Ranchos de Taos home gets probation

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 1/19/20

A Taos County woman who set fire to her former home in Ranchos de Taos in 2019 after it had been sold under foreclosure was sentenced to nine years of probation this month after she pleaded guilty to a felony count of arson.

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Woman who set fire to Ranchos de Taos home gets probation

Posted

Clarification appended.

A Taos County woman who set fire to her former home in Ranchos de Taos in 2019 after it had been sold under foreclosure was sentenced to nine years of probation this month after she pleaded guilty to a felony count of arson.

The 60-year-old defendant, Patricia Gootgeld, may serve two years of a nine-year suspended prison sentence on supervised probation, but if she performs well in her first year, she will be able to serve the remaining eight unsupervised. Failure to comply, however, could result in prison time.

Gootgeld says she suffers from a terminal illness, which her attorney, Lisa Hamer, said "the DA was provided ample proof of ..."

Gootgeld has agreed to have no contact with the couple who purchased her home after it was foreclosed on and said the 60-year-old had threatened them repeatedly via text message, promising that "she would get even.”

While Eighth Judicial District Attorney Marcus Montoya said that Gootgeld had also agreed to move out of Taos County to receive treatment for her illness in Albuquerque, Gootgeld told the Taos News this week that she plans to remain in the area.

Taos County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of the fire at Gootgeld's foreclosed residence on Calle Angelo in Ranchos de Taos on Feb. 2, 2019. They found Gootgeld outside the home as firefighters fought to control the blaze. According to a police report filed with the case, she told a deputy during the fire that she had broken in through a window, "poured charcoal fluid throughout the house, and ignited that fluid with matches."

The 8th Judicial District Attorney's Office dismissed the other three charges in her case: extortion, residential burglary and criminal damage to property over $1,000.

While the defendant was sentenced to nine years probation – two supervised and seven unsupervised – the court granted her the special condition that if she performs well in her first year of supervised probation, the remaining eight may be served unsupervised.

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