Conflict between estranged lovers may be at root of Dinwiddie arson

Posted at 6:47 PM, Feb 12, 2018

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- Friends say 24-year-old Colin Coleman has lost everything and investigators say his estranged girlfriend is charged with the crime.

One witness described seeing Coleman’s house go up in flames, as a “fireball” and added that when it broke through the roof, flames were 30 feet in the air.

Coleman had called deputies to his home multiple times the week before the fire.

At the time, Jordyn Handka, age 20, was arrested and charged with three misdemeanors; destruction of property, trespassing and annoying phone calls.

During her arrest she told deputies about an incident in June.

"She gave information in reference to an incident that happened months prior," says Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Investigator Trey Lucy, who added that four warrants were taken out on Coleman.

Then Coleman was charged with felony strangulation, felony malicious wounding, misdemeanor preventing summoning law enforcement and misdemeanor destruction of property.

Both Coleman and Handka were served with Emergency Protection Orders on Friday, which meant no contact with each other for 72 hours.

Coleman was taken to Meherrin Regional Jail late Friday. Early Saturday morning, just after two in the morning, the fire broke out at his home.

A witness told Sheriff's Deputies and CBS 6 that "three minutes after I seen her leave here, the house is a blaze".

Handka is now also behind bars at Meherrin Regional Jail, charged with felony arson and felon breaking and entering.

As for the fire, investigators believe it started in an upstairs bedroom.

A neighbor who saw the fire was able to break into the home and let one dog out and then get to the back of the house, where they unchained a second dog.

Deputies credit him with saving both animal’s lives.

This case is still under investigation.



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