Woman charged with setting fires near campus is a no-show at court

By Madison Pfeifer | September 3, 2019 9:46pm

Firefighters arrive at Kenna Hall to put out a brush fire below campus. Adrienne Clark was charged with four counts of reckless burning in connection to the fires.

Media Credit: Natalie Nygren / The Beacon

A judge issued a $10,000 bench warrant for Adrianne Clark after she failed to appear at her arraignment Aug. 22, according to Brent Weisberg, communications director with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. 

Clark, 38, was charged with four counts of reckless burning on Aug. 21 after witnesses reported seeing her start multiple fires along the bluff. According to Portland Fire & Rescue Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Chatman, the largest of the fires came within a few feet of cars parked behind Kenna Hall.

Adrianne Clark Photo: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

Weisberg said Clark was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 1:12 p.m. on Aug. 21 and released the same day at 5:10 p.m on her own recognizance. Clark signed a statement saying she would appear in court the next day, Aug. 22, for her arraignment, but failed to show up.

According to the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, Clark’s reckless burning charges are a Class A misdemeanor, meaning she qualified for “expedited release per policy established by the Circuit Courts.”

Jessica Morkert-Shibley, public information officer for the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, said defendants can be released on their own recognizance depending on the level of the charges and their criminal history.

According to Morkert-Shibley, the policy states that the court reserves jail space for people facing higher-level charges such as felonies and will hold those defendants to ensure they will appear in court.

Because Clark’s charges were a misdemeanor and not a higher-level felony, she was released just hours after being booked, following the court’s protocol.

The warrant for Clark’s arrest is still in effect.

Maddie Pfeifer is the news and managing editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at pfeifer21@up.edu.