Woman ordered to stand trial in Homewood fire that killed 3

A woman who told detectives she set fire to a Homewood house, killing three people, because it “was filled with demons” was ordered Friday to stand trial.

Latoya Lyerly, 42, was held for trial on all charges following a preliminary hearing in City Court, Downtown.

Lyerly told Pittsburgh homicide detectives that she heard voices in the early morning hours the day of the February 2016 fire, saying it was her “mission” to kill everyone inside the Homewood house she shared with several other people because the residence “was filled with demons.”

Lyerly told detectives that she then bunched up and lit paper coffee strainers, using them to set fire to a chair on the first floor of 1517 N. Lang Ave. and to a couch in the first-floor bedroom where she stayed.

After the fire began to spread, Ms. Lyerly told detectives, “she grabbed her coat, opened the front door, locked it and then walked away from the residence,” according to an affidavit supporting her arrest.

Killed in the fire were the homeowner, Derlyn Vance, 73, Calvin Turner, 56, and Gerald Johnson, 68.

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