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Suspected arsonist in Yuma motel fire back in court

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - A suspected arsonist in connection with the Fifth Avenue motel fire was back in court Wednesday afternoon, where both the state and defense debated her sentencing.

The defense brought in a psychologist to speak on Jamie Tennyson's psych evaluation.

The doctor referenced a long history of psychiatric disorders stemming from a major car accident that Tennyson was involved in when she was a teenager.

According to testimony, she spent nearly eight weeks in the hospital suffering a traumatic brain injury.

The psychologist said the combination between the disorders and long-time use of drugs could have potentially played a role in her mental state the day of the fire.

Tennyson's mother-in-law also made an appearance inside the courtroom, and eventually got on the witness stand where she claimed her daughter-in-law would not get the proper help she needs if she remained behind bars.

The prosecution pushed hard on Tennyson's use of drugs and alcohol, and said she has shown no remorse for the victims displaced.

Tennyson will be back in court for sentencing next month, and could face up to three and a half years in prison.

Crime / Video / Yuma County
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Adonis Albright

Adonis Albright first found his passion in local news as a production assistant in San Diego after getting his Bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University.

You can catch Adonis reporting on KYMA at 5 and 6 p.m., as well as behind the desk on Fox9 at 9 p.m.

If you have a great story idea, you can reach him at

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Cody Lee

Cody Lee joined 13 On Your Side and KYMA News 11 in March 2020, but he’s no stranger to Arizona. He grew up in the Phoenix area and enjoys everything Arizona has to offer.

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