Mom sleeping next to baby and new boyfriend when his ex sneaks in, lights bed on fire: Police


Derica B. Wiggins (Shelby County Sheriff's Office)

Derica B. Wiggins (Shelby County Sheriff’s Office)

A 20-year-old woman in Tennessee has been arrested, several months after she allegedly tried to set fire to her ex-boyfriend’s bed while he, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s baby were sleeping under the comforter.

Derica B. Wiggins was taken into custody on Friday and charged with a spate of felonies in connection with the alleged attack.

Records reviewed by Law&Crime show that Wiggins was charged with one count each of aggravated arson, setting fire to another’s personal property, and reckless burning, as well as two counts of aggravated assault.

A copy of the probable cause affidavit obtained by Memphis CBS affiliate WREG-TV provided additional information about the incident that led to Wiggins’ arrest.

According to the report, police and firefighters on the night of March 1, 2023, responded to an emergency 911 call regarding a fire at a residence located in the 6100 block of Park Grove. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders said that the fire had been put out quickly after it started. Fortunately, the man, woman, and baby were all able to escape the incident unharmed.

The three victims have not been identified by law enforcement.

In an interview with investigators, the female victim reportedly said that she woke up and could hear what she believed was the sound of someone trying to light a lighter outside of the bedroom where she was sleeping with her new boyfriend and baby. She also noted that she could see what appeared to be someone looking into the bedroom through a crack in the door, but assumed it was one of her boyfriend’s siblings and went back to sleep, per WREG.

But the girlfriend reportedly told police that a short while later, she awoke to find that the comforter covering the three victims was on fire.

The boyfriend told police that he woke up to the flaming comforter and was able to extinguish the flames. He then left the bedroom and found Wiggins in the driveway where the two got into a confrontation, WREG reported.

Police also reportedly noted that security footage from a Ring doorbell showed a woman who appeared to be Wiggins entering the residence and then leaving a short time later on the night of the fire.

While none of the victims were injured in the blaze, authorities have reportedly said that the inside of the bedroom showed signs of smoke damage and the comforter was significantly burned.

Records show that Wiggins is currently being held in the Shelby County Jail on $150,000 bond. She is currently scheduled to appear before a judge on Tuesday.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a message from Law&Crime seeking additional details regarding the incident.

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