Pet Store Owner Accused of Arson Taken into Custody - 8 News NOW

Pet Store Owner Accused of Arson Taken into Custody

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These are some of the 27 puppies that were rescued from the pet store. These are some of the 27 puppies that were rescued from the pet store.
Gloria Lee Gloria Lee
Gloria Lee in court Friday morning. Gloria Lee in court Friday morning.
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LAS VEGAS -- The pet store owner accused of torching her store was taken into custody after her Friday morning court hearing.

Gloria Eun Hye Lee arrived at Regional Justice Court dressed in white and wearing sunglasses. She was greeted by animal rights activists. Some have even gone as far as to call her a real-life Cruella De Vil. Lee is facing 31 counts of arson, burglary and cruelty to animal charges in the Jan. 27 fire at the Prince and Princess Puppies & Boutique on Jan. 27.

"It doesn't seem like there's a soul in there," said Gina Griesen with Nevada Voters for Animals. "Seems like she doesn't have a conscience at all. She just stared straight ahead."

During the proceeding, Justice of the Peace Janiece Marshall raised Lee's bail to $310,000. She had been on house arrest with a much lower bail.

"It sends out a message and it sends out a standard that animal cruelty will not be tolerated in our state," said Kristen Corral, Nevada Political Action for Animals.

The Clark County District Attorney's office was requesting a higher bail because they believe Lee is a flight risk and a danger to the community because she showed little regard for the puppies in the shop and the occupants in surrounding businesses.

Lee, and co-defendant Kirk Bills, are accused of setting the store on fire when there were 27 puppies in the kennels. A sprinkler system and the quick response of firefighters is being crediting for saving the animals.

In Lee's arrest report, police said surveillance video from the pet store shows Lee and Bills set the store on fire.

Lee's attorney, Tom Pitaro, fought to lower her bail and keep her on house arrest despite the fact Lee has prior convictions in California for forgery and larceny and tried to flee on a charge 10 years ago.

"Whatever happened is in the past is well over a decade old and she has paid for that," said Tom Pitaro, Lee's attorney.

Police have been unable to locate Bills to arrest him.

Lee is due back in court on Tuesday, Feb. 11 and then on Feb. 24 for her preliminary hearing.

 

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