EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 24, 2014

Arson suspect held without bail after Lawrence stabbing, blaze

LAWRENCE — Yohanna Estrella allegedly showed up at her “on again, off again” girlfriend’s 638 Haverhill St. apartment at 5 a.m. Saturday. Intoxicated and angry, Estrella accused Jackelyn Graciano of cheating on her, according to police.

A loud argument ensued and Estrella is accused of grabbing a lighter and setting a couch on fire. As the blaze quickly spread to the window drapes, Estrella then grabbed a knife and stabbed Graciano, 38, in the stomach, inflicting a wound that would require emergency surgery, according to a police report.

As the multi-family house at 638 Haverhill St. burned and firefighters battled the blaze, Estrella was found hiding in a neighbor’s bushes, according to a police report.

When she was taken into custody by police, Estrella admitted she stabbed her girlfriend because Graciano in a “kidnap type way” would not let her leave the apartment, according to the report.

Estrella, 34, of 4 Memorial Circle, Andover, was held without bail today at her arraignment on arson, domestic assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault to murder charges.

She is expected to return to court next Monday for a hearing to determine if she is a danger to others and the community.

A Lawrence police report written by Officer Francis Bradley indicates Estrella and Graciano had a tumultuous relationship and both had filed for restraining orders against each other in the past.

Wearing a dark pink and black sundress and flip flops, Estrella stood silently next to her court-appointed defense attorney Ben Duggan in court yesterday. She was handcuffed and her feet were shackled.

Police arrived at 638 Haverhill St. at 6:18 a.m. and saw off-duty Lawrence Firefighters Hector Santiago and Mark Verville clearing the house of occupants. At least six people lived in the multi-family home, according to Bradley’s report.

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