Woman accused of faking racial attack free on bond

July 16, 1996|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,SUN STAFF

A North Laurel woman who shocked the community last week by admitting to police that she faked an incident of racial vandalism at her home to collect insurance money is free on bond, according to a Circuit Court clerk.

Sonia Andrei James, 28, of the 9500 block of Sylvan Still Lane, was released from the Howard County Detention Center on $10,000 bond Friday, hours after county officials released information about her confession at a morning news conference.

She is charged with theft, insurance fraud, destruction of property and falsely reporting a crime, police said.

As a condition of her release, James is required not to leave the state and must be supervised by the Department of Parole and Probation until her trial. Her first appointment with a probation officer was scheduled yesterday, court records show.

jTC Police said James admitted staging the April 23 incident at her townhouse at the Seasons Apartments. Racial epithets were spray-painted on her walls, and nearly all her belongings were destroyed.

Areawide sympathy led to an outpouring of gifts of clothing, food and cash. James already had collected $14,000 from one insurance policy, police said.

Police grew suspicious of James after learning that she was neither a law student nor employed, as she had claimed. She confessed last Thursday during questioning, police said.

Pub Date: 7/16/96

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