Racine COP House arson: Kylie Gelmi sentenced, 8 years in prison

Kylie Gelmi

A Racine County judge sentenced Kylie Gelmi on Monday, Nov. 21 to eight years in prison plus another four years of extended supervision in connection with the arson of the Thelma Orr Community-Oriented Policing House that happened in June 2020. 

Gelmi had pleaded guilty in July to a criminal count of arson. Two other charges, burglary and bail jumping, were dismissed and read into the court record for the purposes of sentencing.

Case details

According to a criminal complaint, investigators found extensive damage on the first floor of the building near the west rear door; it was determined that that damage was consistent with a fire-starting event using a liquid fire accelerant.

Thelma Orr Community Policing House, Racine

Investigators also viewed social media videos related to the fire. In one video, a Hispanic male with silver glasses and a chinstrap style beard -- later identified as Justin Hernandez -- turn the camera to the burning door and say "Oh the boss let that (expletive) burn!" and "We went in there and destroyed all that (expletive)!"

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During an interview with authorities, Hernandez admitted to setting fire to the exterior of the building, identifying himself in more than one video as well as in an attempt to start a second fire. A search of Hernandez's phone also showed a woman -- later identified as Gelmi -- placing an item on fire inside the back door of the building before running out.

Gelmi admitted to police that she was present during the arson and to placing an item into the fire.