How safe is your babysitter? Martha Carolyn Dreher, a 57-year-old from the Austin area, has been charged with arson after home security recorded her to be the last person in the house before flames could be seen bursting out of two bedroom windows.
Dreher had been the babysitter to Glen Williams 5-year-old twin sons at another home, while Williams was on vacation with his two girls. Within a few hours the oldest brother, who had been staying at the home while his father was gone, came home after having dinner with his mother and saw smoke building in the kitchen, and alerted his father. "My son Adam came in and said, 'Dad, I just went to the kitchen -- lot of smoke,'" Williams said. Luckily no one was injured and the family made sure the doors to the girls bedrooms were shut, which helped contain the fire to just the two rooms. However, both rooms are not salvageable, and will need to be gutted and rebuilt in the historic home that’s about 90-years-old.
Beyond the camera footage which shows Dreher pulling up to the house, investigators have not said if they have any other evidence. And Dreher has pleaded to the judge that she is not guilty.
Williams told ABC News that he believes it was her because she has motive, since she already made complaints that she didn’t like the girls, “she said that it was horrible, that the girls — my oldest — had been very disrespectful.” He believes it had to be her because both the girls rooms were the only ones set on fire, and it has to be arson because the two rooms are not connected in the home, which indicates the fire was deliberately set in both rooms.
Apparently Dreher claims her innocence, and told investigators the only reason she went to the home was to pick up popcorn for Mr. Williams’s twin sons, whom she was watching. The Statesman.com reported that the babysitter told investigators that the girls were, “out of control, lacking respect for her and having disciplines issues.” But Dreher’s lawyer told ABC News that, “the thing we are going to be pushing for is, in addition to a lie detector test and everything else we can do to prove her innocence, is evidence.” Although Dreher has been charged with arson, and bail set at $25,000, she is pleading not guilty to all charges relating to setting fire to the rooms of the girls she was hired to watch.