South Carolina Mom Accused of Conspiring to Burn Down Trailer for Insurance Money After Her 12-Year-Old Son Died in the Fire

A South Carolina woman is set to face trial accused of conspiring to burn down a trailer for insurance money. Her 12-year-old son died in the fire.

Marissa Cohen, 45, is charged with arson, conspiracy and unlawful conduct toward a child. She faces at least 30 years in prison if convicted on all counts, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported.

A jury of eight women and four men was selected on Monday and opening statements in the trial are expected to be delivered Tuesday, according to the newspaper.

Cohen's son, David Sycience Coombs, had moved out of the trailer near Andrews, South Carolina, before the 2014 blaze, the Sun News reported. But on the day of the fire, he had been leaving a party nearby when it began to rain and had taken shelter there.

The Georgetown County Sheriff's Office said the 12-year-old was found dead inside the mobile home at 10 James Drive after the fire was reported to authorities at around 1.30 a.m. on March 29, 2014. Coombs died of smoke inhalation, the Associated Press reported.

According to the Sun News, Georgetown County Sheriff's deputy Melvin Garrett said officers thought Cohen was behaving strangely after finding out her son had died.

Garrett visited the trailer after the fire and noticed the fire had started at the opposite end of the trailer from the kitchen. In court, he testified that he noticed there were a lot of kerosene heaters in the trailer. "It didn't take that many to warm a space that small," he said, according to the Sun News. The Georgetown County Sheriff's Office declined to comment further on the case.

Investigators later discovered Cohen had bought renters' insurance for the trailer a month before the fire and moved her belongings into storage. She had also told friends there were electrical problems in the trailer.

Randy Collins told police that Cohen had offered to pay him $5,000 from the $25,000 she would collect after cashing in the insurance policy if he would set the trailer on fire, the Sun News reported.

He was with nephew James Miller at the trailer when Miller set it on fire, according to the newspaper. Collins was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in the fire in 2018.

Miller was shot dead by Coombs' teenage brother Devon Coombs in April 2015, WPDE reported, who told a court that he did it because Miller had killed his younger brother.

Devon Coombs was sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Cohen, Miller and Devon Coombs are all related, according to the station.

Marissa Cohen
Marissa Cohen, 45, is charged with arson, conspiracy and unlawful conduct toward a child Georgetown County Sheriff's Office