Arson suspect posts bond, will await grand jury's decision in CA

Krystal Danielle Gonzalez (Photo source: Harrison Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Krystal Danielle Gonzalez (Photo source: Harrison Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The woman accused of setting fire to a D'Iberville apartment complex is out of jail. A judge sided with Krystal Gonzalez's attorney Thursday and lowered her bond from $2 million to $200,000.

Gonzalez's mother wiped away tears as Judge Roger Clark announced his decision.
"I'm so happy with that and I will be by her side this whole entire time," Anna Gonzalez said. "You know with her family in California and her friends here, we all support her and to prove her innocence."
For the past four weeks, Gonzalez has been behind bars charged with arson. Investigators believe Gonzalez set the blaze at Arbor View Apartments in D'Iberville that destroyed 20 units and killed several pets.
"She's tearful and thankful and very happy to be able to be back with her family and friends," Gonzalez's attorney, Michael Crosby said.
Judge Clark made his decision after hearing from both sides.
The prosecution worried Gonzalez would go to California to be with her family and not come back for court. But Crosby was able to convince the judge his client will appear in court. He also told the judge that bond was set for $300,000 for a local police officer this week involved in what he described as "a very serious crime." Crosby asked that his client's bond be more in line with others in the community.
"The process has already begun to defend her and in the end she's going to be, of course, not guilty," Crosby said.
Former resident at the Arbor View Apartment Complex Michael McQuillan believes otherwise. His family lost everything in the fire, including their beloved pet.
"My biggest loss was losing my cat," McQuillan said. "In the days prior, whenever someone mentioned about animals lost in the fire her response was, 'mine as well.' And I couldn't think of any colder response that could have come out."
Before the ruling, the judge said he wanted to clear up some misconceptions that he had heard. He said bond is not to determine guilt or innocence. It's based on the crime and two factors are considered: Whether the accused will return for trial and if they are a risk to the community.
"A lot of people are assuming she's guilty because she was arrested, and I'm some what taken back by that. That's not American," Crosby said.
Now the case will be presented to a grand jury. If the jury believes there is enough evidence, they will indict Gonzalez and a trial date will be set. Until then Gonzalez will remain out on bond without any restrictions.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.