Woman wanted for fatal fire turns self in

Woman wanted for fatal fire turns self in

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by WCNC.com Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on April 10, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 10:13 AM

GASTONIA, N.C. -- A Gastonia woman wanted on two counts of first degree murder in connection with a February house fire that killed her handicapped mother and stepfather was arrested Thursday afternoon.

Christa Smith is facing two counts of murder for the February fire in her Gastonia home that killed her mother, Angela Wilson, 57, and the man who had been like a stepfather to Smith, 78-year-old Ernest Adams.

Christa turned herself in to the Gaston County Jail on Thursday afternoon. She coordinated her surrender with her attorney, according to police.

Investigators said Smith was living at the house and ran next door to neighbor Randy Jenkins as smoke filled the home.

(Click here to see photos from the fire)

On Wednesday night, Jenkins remembered what Smith had said.

"She told me that her house was on fire and she needed some help to get them out," he recalled.

Knowing now what police say really happened, Smith said, "It was sad that she did that to her own mama and daddy."

Gastonia Police Department spokesperson Donna Lahser would not say what evidence led investigators to believe Smith started the fire and Lahser would not say if investigators have a motive.

Neighbor Angela Greene, who lives two houses down from where the fire happened, said, "It's a tragedy.  It just goes to show how low-life people are in the world."

Greene said Smith's mother was confined to a wheelchair and it appeared to her that Smith had become overwhelmed taking care of her.

"Clearly, the woman did not want to take care of her parents," Green said.

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