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updated: 6/23/2015 5:37 PM

Trial delayed for Vernon Hills arson suspect

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  • Stephanie M. Wollar

    Stephanie M. Wollar


The trial for a Vernon Hills woman accused of starting a series of small garbage can fires at area parks has been delayed while officials determine if she's eligible to be transferred to mental health court, attorneys said Tuesday.

Defense attorney Steven McCollum said Stephanie M. Wollar, 28, is due back in court July 21 to determine if she is qualified for Lake County's Therapeutic Intensive Monitoring Court for nonviolent offenders with a mental illness who also suffer from substance abuse. It is designed to help treat defendants through rehabilitative resources rather than through incarceration.

Her trial date was continued until Sept. 14 to give officials time to make that decision, Assistant State's Attorney Stella Veytsel said.

Wollar was charged Nov. 15 with starting garbage fires at Deerpath, Augusta and Kelli Garvanian parks. She was arrested when officers spotted her trying to set fire to a bag of yard waste in the 300 block of Albany Lane near Deerpath subdivision, authorities said.

She admitted to the crime and posted bail, authorities said. During questioning with police, she said set the garbage can fires to "relieve stress," according to authorities

Wollar was arrested Jan. 1 and charged with starting another garbage can fire at Augusta Park. She was returned to Lake County jail and ordered held on $500,000 bail.

She faces three to seven years in prison in the November case and three to seven years if convicted of setting the January fire. The arson and criminal damage to property charges would be served consecutively because they occurred separately, authorities said.

Total damage estimates were about $6,000 for the Vernon Hills fires, authorities said. No injuries were reported in any of the fires.

She also faces a prison sentence for starting a fire in some woods in New Jersey. According to media reports, Wollar was arrested in Butler after she threw several beer bottles filled with gasoline into a forested area in August 2013 and pleaded guilty in December.

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