The Post Falls woman who set fire to a home on East 44th Avenue in April 2021 will spend 30 months in federal prison on cyberstalking charges.
Kimberly Brischle, 56, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of cyberstalking after breaking into the home being remodeled by an ex-boyfriend, damaging kitchen appliances and cupboards within and setting fire to a closet, according to court documents.
The cyberstalking charges were prompted by threatening text messages Brischle sent the ex-boyfriend prior to setting the fire, including one reading, “Tick tock, tick tock” the night before the fire.
The ex-boyfriend was in Arizona at the time of the fire, which was reported by a neighbor. Investigators say it was starved of oxygen and extinguished quickly, but still caused damages estimated at greater than $120,000.
Brischle continued calling and texting the man after the fire, including one phone call in which she said, “Sorry about your house,” according to court records. In later texts, she implied she’d paid someone $40,000 to physically harm him or kill his dog.
U.S. District Court Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson handed down the 30-month sentence Thursday in Spokane. As part of the sentence, Brischle will serve three years of probation after release and must pay roughly $180,000 in restitution, along with undergoing substance abuse and mental health counseling, if recommended.
“In the information age, Internet stalking has become a significant problem that crosses state and international boundaries and subjects innocent people to serious harassment,” said U.S. attorney for Eastern Washington Vanessa Waldref, in a statement announcing the sentence. “As this case demonstrates, the line between online activity and real-world consequences can become blurry for some – and frankly, it is a miracle and a relief that no one was hurt by the fire in this case.”
Brischle was listed in custody of the Spokane County Jail on Friday evening. She was arrested in July 2021.
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