An East Germantown woman accused of fatally stabbing a man 77 times, then setting his body ablaze a few days later, was held for trial Wednesday on murder, arson and related charges.
Tina Vanderhorst, 52, lived in the same apartment building as victim Robert Lynch, 64, on the 500 block of East Church Lane. Authorities believe she stabbed Lynch on Sept. 7 and set his apartment on fire five days later.
Lt. Eric Geiger, a city assistant fire marshal, testified at Vanderhorst's preliminary hearing that firefighters found Lynch's body in his apartment, where the fire started. The fire was determined to have been intentionally set - a pair of shorts and a cushion tested positive for gasoline.
Vanderhorst lived in another apartment with her boyfriend, Kevin Mathis.
Two other men who lived in the building painted a portrait of Vanderhorst as someone who did drugs and had sex with various men in the building.
James Wilson II testified that about a week before the fire, Mathis gave him a TV to sell so they could split some crack cocaine.
A few days later, Wilson said, Vanderhorst and Mathis had a fight and Vanderhorst was kicked out of their apartment.
Wilson said he spoke to Vanderhorst on Sept. 12 and told her there had been a fire that morning. That night, Wilson said, Vanderhorst called again and admitted "she had stabbed Mr. Robert [Lynch], set the place on fire."
She told Wilson she and Lynch had gotten into "an altercation," that she had stabbed him the Wednesday before the fire - Sept. 7 - and that she had taken two TVs from Lynch's apartment.
Authorities believe one of those TVs was given by Mathis to Wilson to sell for crack. Police found Lynch's other TV in Mathis and Vanderhorst's apartment the day after the fire.
Rufus Greene, who lived in the building and admitted he sometimes paid Vanderhorst for sex, said he saw her at the building around 8 a.m. on Sept. 12. He then went to a doctor's appointment, and when he returned, "the place was on fire."
He said he did not see Vanderhorst again that day.
Vanderhorst was arrested Oct. 13 in a Mayfair apartment.
In 1996, she had pleaded no contest to selling her 2-year-old son to a stranger for $500 to buy drugs. A prosecutor at the time said Vanderhorst had four babies who had died, including two who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.