Arsonist, drunken driver get prison |

Arsonist, drunken driver get prison

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

A woman who tried to burn down a house and a man who ran off after getting into a drunken accident were both given prison sentences on Monday, while the woman who drove her car through a Carson City pizza parlor received probation.

Still in jail since her July arrest, Nicole Andrews, 23, received a suspended prison sentence of 24 to 84 months and must serve up to five years probation for driving her vehicle through the front window of Papa Murphy’s Pizza on South Carson Street.

Andrews must also pay a $2,000 fine and $2,000 in restitution for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury.

On July 12, Andrews drove her car through the front window of the pizza parlor, then backed out and fled, striking a vehicle in the process. She was eventually stopped in the parking lot of the Gold Dust West Casino, where her blood alcohol level was reported to be .264 – more than three times the legal limit.

Arsonist Jennifer Johnson-Theiss, 43, was sentenced to 12 to 32 months in prison, for her unsuccessful attempt to burn down a Michael Drive home in April.

Theiss’ attorney, Marcie Flygare, had asked that Johnson be sent to mental health court because of a question on her competency and a “troubled past.” But District Judge Todd Russell declined.

And a head-on collision on Curry Street following a motorists dispute in June resulted in a sentence of 24 to 60 months in prison for James Burrows, 28.

Burrows was driving south on Curry Street when he nearly hit a northbound truck, according to reports. The northbound driver turned around and yelled into Burrows’ window as he passed.

Burrows then closely followed the truck, hanging out his car window and yelling at the truck driver. When the truck turned onto Moses Street from Curry Street, Burrows was looking at the truck and did not see that he’d drifted into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Witnesses reported Burrows got out of his own vehicle, ran over to the other vehicle to check on the driver and then took off on foot through a Mazda dealership. He was found a short time later, and admitted being intoxicated.

On Monday, defense attorney Flygare asked the judge to allow Burrows to serve probation because he has sole custody of his 3-year-old daughter.

When the judge decided on prison, Burrows appeared to be surprised, as were a number of family members who burst into tears.

Russell gave Burrows a week to report to prison so he could make arrangements for care for his daughter.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.