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No bond for two suspects in fatal arson
Man, 37, died in house fire
Smith Jill WEB
Jill Smith - photo by Submitted


Bond has been denied for two people arrested in connection with an October fire at a south Forsyth home that killed one person.

Jill Smith, 34, and Peter Delaney, 37, were charged last week by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office with one count each of first degree arson and felony murder.

Smith was arrested at a relative’s house while Delaney, who is a pilot, was taken into custody in Baton Rouge, La., where he was working at the time.

A jail spokesman said Delaney was extradited Dec. 24. He and Smith remain in custody.

Smith was the wife of 37-year-old Michael Smith, who died in the Oct. 22 fire at the couple’s home at 5540 Kennemore Drive off Union Hill Road.

Michael Smith became trapped inside the house during the blaze, authorities have said, and suffered severe burns all over his
body. He was found in a bathroom adjoining the master bedroom upstairs.

Authorities have declined to comment on the exact nature of the relationship between Jill Smith and Delaney, describing them only as “acquaintances.”

Both suspects were in the house the night of the fire.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said the arrests were the result of “critical” teamwork between the department and sheriff’s office.

Arson investigators contacted the sheriff’s office the night of the blaze and have handled the case together since that night.

Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Gene Moss said the matter remains under investigation.

Delaney’s attorney, Rafe Banks, has confirmed that Delaney was in the house the night of the fire, but said that doesn’t mean his client is guilty of murder.

Smith’s attorney could not be reached for comment.