SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – An unexpected arson suspect on the wrong side of the law tonight. A Sacramento attorney is now behind bars accused of torching a portion of a major interstate.
“That shocks me to hear that,” said Bob Eisenbarth, a paralegal who works in Sacramento. “That she was actually arrested for that!”
Jessica Ann Warne, 46, has small law practice near Sacramento State. She was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday morning after California Highway Patrol responded to a fire on I-80. It happened on the shoulder of the road near the I-505 interchange in Vacaville. She’s now facing a felony arson charge.
“I’m really shocked,” Eisenbarth repeated. “I would give her the benefit of the doubt.”
Eisenbarth works as a paralegal in the same office building as Warne. She says he frequently sees her in the building and even practices the same type of law.
“She works hard, she’s diligent,” he told CBS13. “I know that just by association!”
Others who work in Warne’s building told CBS13 off camera they noticed bizarre behavior on Monday. One person said Warne was doing yoga in the middle of a busy street. And another said she had cigarette ash smeared all over her face.
Still, Eisenbarth saw her as a regular attorney.
“I didn’t sense anything off about her,” he said. “She just strikes me as a normal individual, she practices that same kind of law that we do so we have a little bit in common.”
Attorney Jeff Kravitz told CBS13 that clients in civil cases, like adoption or divorce hearings, may be troubled if they find their attorney has had a run in with the law. In this case, Warne has been arrested and charged with a felony but not yet convicted of any crime.
However, Kravitz said for any clients with upcoming court dates where their attorney is awaiting their own court hearing, a judge would likely postpone the case for another time.
“Say your trial is set for next week and your lawyer is in jail, this is automatic grounds for a continuance,” he explained.
Warne’s bail has been set at $25,000 and she’ll face a judge Thursday afternoon at 1:30.