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Merrimack Valley

July 1, 2014

Estrella held without bail in stabbing, arson case

LAWRENCE — Yohanna Estrella, charged with stabbing her girlfriend in the abdomen and setting fire to the victim’s apartment June 21, was ordered held without bail as a dangerous person yesterday.

Lawrence District Court Judge Michael Brooks also revoked Estrella’s bail on a prior case, in which she is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on the same victim, Jackelyn Graciano, 38.

Estrella, 24, will remain at Framingham State Prison at least until July 25, when she will face a pretrial hearing on charges of arson, assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault to murder. She has a history of restraining orders being filed against her by the victim, according to documents filed with the court.

Estrella has also filed restraining orders against Graciano during their “on again, off again” relationship, according to police.

Estrella confronted Graciano at the latter’s first floor apartment at 638 Haverhill St. at around 5 a.m. June 21 and accused her of cheating on her, according to a report filed by Lawrence police Officer Francis Bradley. Estrella allegedly grabbed a knife, stabbed Graciano and set a couch on fire with a cigarette lighter.

The fire quickly spread and did heavy damage to the apartment house. The 3-alarm blaze left at least six people homeless.

Graciano required emergency surgery at Lawrence General Hospital, police said.

Two off-duty firefighters, Hector Santiago and Mark Verville, got people out of the burning building, police said. Firefighters rescued two dogs but a third perished, according to court documents.

Estrella hid in some bushes near the apartment house until she was arrested by Officer Michael Colantuoni, police said.

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