A Socorro woman, Eric Wiesen, pleaded guilty last week to causing a fire that destroyed or damaged several homes and seven vehicles in the Ivy Street neighborhood.

Seventh District Judge Mercedes Murphy accepted the plea on Monday, Feb. 3, almost a full year after the Feb. 22, 2022 incident.

Wiesen was initially charged with one Class 2 felony for arson, one Class 3 felony for aggravated battery on a household member, and six Class 4 felonies for negligent arson.

According to the criminal complaint dated Feb. 23, 2022, Wiesen was in a domestic dispute that turned violent after the male victim, who also lived in the home, told Wiesen he was ending their 27-year relationship. In the document, he told police Wiesen hit him with a heavy A&W mug on the back of the head, causing bleeding. He stated that while he was waiting for a taxi to leave to take him to a motel, Wiesen came running out into the yard saying she had started a fire in the mobile home and then reentered the burning home, claiming she wanted to die. He said he had just pulled her out when officers arrived.

Two homes were a total loss and several others sustained damage.
File photo

The complaint stated that Wiesen appeared to be high on an unknown narcotic and was taken into custody after being seen by medical personnel at the scene.

After being cleared for incarceration at Socorro General Hospital, Wiesen was booked into Socorro County Detention Center on the charges.

Two engines and one ladder truck from the Socorro Fire Department had responded to the call and were on the Ivy Street scene in about five minutes, according to Capt. Daniel Pacheco.

Two ambulances also responded.

As two EMTs took care of the male victim needing medical assistance, firefighters established a water source. Police officers were already on the scene making sure the trailers were clear. Soon after, other fire departments began arriving.

“We were joined alongside with Midway and San Antonio Volunteer Fire Departments,” Pacheco said at the time. “All fire crews worked efficiently and professionally during extremely high wind conditions.”

Winds were estimated to be 25-30 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.

“Together we effectively extinguished and saved surrounding properties as well as containing the fire from spreading,” he said.

By the time the fire was put out – one hour later – three homes were lost and seven vehicles had been destroyed by the fire.

Wiesen’s case was bound over to district court by Magistrate Judge Felix Saavedra on Feb. 24.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 6 at 11 a.m.