Portales woman found guilty of arson, abuse

PNT Staff

A Portales woman was found guilty of arson, child abuse, extreme cruelty to animals and attempted fraud on Friday, according to a press release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office.

Dayna Kendall, 27, could face a maximum of 12 years in prison, 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler said.

Chandler said sentencing will take place within 60 days. He said prosecutors will wait until a diagnostic evaluation is completed before deciding what punishment they will argue for from Judge Joe Parker.

On May 15, 2004, New Mexico State Police responded to a residence on South Valley Drive in Clovis in reference to a structure fire. Officers found Kendall was outside with her children, according to the press release.

According to the press release, after search of the residence, it was noted that the fire was intentionally set in numerous locations throughout the house.

Kendall contacted a local insurance company in order to file a claim for the damage to her house, the press release said.

According to the press release the prosecutors argued that she purposely set the fire to receive money through an insurance claim and the child abuse resulted from the danger Kendall placed the children in when she set fire to the house.

Chandler said Parker did not order her to jail and she is not in custody, but is to report back for the diagnostic evaluation.