St. Paul woman pleads guilty to fire that damaged Minnesota Building

A St. Paul woman recently entered a guilty plea in connection with several fires that were started at the Minnesota Building on April 3, 2023.

Guadalupe Castillo, 38, was initially charged with two counts of first-degree arson, according to court records.

Castillo, who also goes by Guadalupe Fondrin and Guadalupe Gonzales, pleaded guilty to the two counts of arson in a Norgaard plea on Jan. 24.

A Norgaard plea means the defendant is pleading guilty but does not remember committing the offense. Court records say Castillo told officers on the scene that she was on methamphetamine at the time of the fires.

RELATED: St. Paul woman charged with starting several fires in Minnesota Building

The criminal complaint states that crews with St. Paul Fire responded to a report of an arson at the Minnesota Building on 4th Street East in St. Paul around 4:20 a.m. on April 3. Officials at the scene said several fires had been set in the building lobby, stairwells, and in the basement and third floor.

A witness in an apartment of the building told law enforcement that a woman, later identified as Castillo, had come into their apartment and taken several rolls of paper towels, which were used to set the fires.

Castillo was arrested by police after they found her standing outside the building without shoes. She had a warrant for her arrest out of Ramsey County for motor vehicle theft at the time of the fires, according to the complaint.

The damage to the building as a result of the fire was estimated to be more than $300,000, the complaint stated.

Castillo’s sentencing date is set for the afternoon of March 13.