Business owner denies arson charges

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First at Five, February 22, 2008

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga.---Deputies charged a spa owner with setting fire to her own business. In January she told News 12 she wanted to find out who committed the crime.

Dawn and her husband Donald Hadden went to jail in connection to the fire at the Sun Spa Tan and Body on Washington Road in Evans.

"This was all retail here. All the cabinets are gone. I've lost it all," she told News 12 in January. "I'm struggling hard right now."

She and her husband are now out on an roughly $35,000 bond, each.

"You worry about your safety and the safety of others," said Tammy Taylor, who works next door to the spa.

She says she's glad there was only minor damage to her business, but she's left wondering why someone would set the building on fire.

"In all honesty I would think that it would take a pretty sick individual to do that without thinking of other people," she said.

They arrested the two on charges of arson and false statements. Dawn is also charged with filing false insurance claims.

Taylor says she doesn't know why Hadden would need that money.

"From the outside, it looked like the place was doing great. And what kind of trouble could they be in to do something like that," Taylor said.

Dawn Hadden says what's happened to her is not right, and she didn't do it.

"She's trying to keep her business going. That doesn't sound like someone who lit their own business on fire," said her lawyer Todd Boudreaux.

For now, Hadden has a temporary location on Old Petersburg Road still open for business.

Now Taylor is hoping the truth will come out and her business will stay safe.

"I wouldn't think things would be that bad that you would have to do something like that in order to get ahead," Taylor said.

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