New York Woman Charged With Setting Fatal Fire

NEW YORK (AP) -- A 22-year-old woman was charged Thursday with setting a fire that killed her elderly husband and young daughter in an apparent bid to collect life insurance, police said.

Medine Jeanty was charged with murder, arson, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child in the fatal Dec. 2, 2003, fire. She allegedly admitted setting the blaze.

Police said Jeanty placed a burning newspaper on a pile of clothes under the couch where her 70-year-old husband, Sam Solise, was sleeping.

The blaze quickly spread, also killing 2-year-old Rianne Jeanty. An older daughter, Nicole Jeanty, 6, and several others in the apartment building escaped.

Jeanty came under suspicion when police discovered she had taken out life insurance policies _ including a $100,000 policy on her husband, who was the father of the older child.

Though she moved with her 6-year-old daughter to Florida, authorities took custody of the child and placed her in foster care. Jeanty returned Wednesday for a family court hearing _ and was taken into custody.

Jeanty was awaiting arraignment late Thursday. She could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.