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Judge Orders Exam For British Tourist Held In Fatal Fire

September 26, 1988

MIAMI (AP) _ A British tourist accused of setting a fatal hotel fire after an argument with her boyfriend was ordered held without bail Monday, and a magistrate also ordered a psychological examination.

Tara Jane Terry, 19, of Camberley, England, was arrested last week on federal arson charges in the fire at the Nassau Hotel in Miami Beach. She faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted.

Her boyfriend, Mark Edward Richardson, 20, was detained as a material witness, but has been released on $100,000 bond.

Two people died of smoke inhalation in the Sept. 17 fire and one person was critically injured.

Ms. Terry appeared Monday before U.S. Magistrate Linnea Johnson.

″Nobody would set a fire in which her money was burned up, all of her clothes, all of her documents - it just doesn’t make sense,″ argued her attorney, Corey Hoffman.

He said his client should be freed pending trial, saying her mother intends to come to live in the United States during proceedings.

n a tourist visa and she has the means to leave,″ he said.

Ms. Johnson agreed Ms. Terry should remain in custody and, with Hoffman’s consent, ordered a psychologist to examine her. The psychological evaluation will be presented at a formal arraignment set Oct. 13.

According to an affidavit filed by a federal agent in the case, Ms. Terry and Richardson arrived at the Nassau Hotel on the night of Sept. 17.

They went upstairs arguing, but Richardson later returned to the lobby and spoke to the manager, leaving Ms. Terry alone in their room. She later joined him in the lobby, and while they talked passersby reported the fire.

Federal agents and firefighters determined the fire was set and pinned it down to the time Ms. Terry was in the room alone.

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