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Woman accused of setting Mineral Springs fire will plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 08:36:14 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 01 2014 06:05:28 PM CDT

A woman accused of setting a fire that killed a man in Northampton County was allowed to waive her preliminary hearing Tuesday, on one condition.

EASTON, Pa. -

A woman charged with starting a deadly fire in Northampton County has made a deal, but Fallonn Craig's legal drama is far from over. Attorneys said this could be the first of many plea agreements.

Craig was facing a homicide charge Tuesday morning. She waived her preliminary hearing and will plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter, and she is still facing 29 other charges.

Craig admitted to investigators she started a fire at the Mineral Springs Bar and Restaurant in Forks Township on Oct. 22, 2013, according to court records.

Craig argued with her boyfriend, Charles Unangst, before taking a lighter and setting the couple's bed on fire inside one of the apartments above the bar, according to court records.

Another resident, John Beck, elderly and already suffering from a lung condition, was rescued from the fire, but he died three weeks later from his injuries.

"As far as the fire was concerned, the smoke inhalation would have indicated there was some injury to the lungs from the smoke inhalation as well," said Abraham Kassis, Northampton County assistant district attorney. "There were a couple of things going on there.”

Craig agreed that she will plead guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

"There’s still a lot of factors that need to be looked at as far as the sentence," added Kassis. "This was just a general agreement that involuntary manslaughter might be the more suitable charge.”

In December 2013, Craig waived her hearing on 29 other charges, including arson and causing a catastrophe.

Her attorney, Christopher Shipman, declined comment, but there is another deal in the works, according to the Northampton County district attorney's office.

“There’s going to be several offenses that she is going to be most likely pleading to and that again is going to affect what the sentence is,” said Kassis.

The prosecution told 69 News it is negotiating a sentence of 2-1/2 to five years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter charge.