Ohio nail salon owner sentenced after attempting arson at competing salon

*Attached video: Fire prevention safety

CINCINNATI (WJW) — A Cincinnati nail salon owner was sentenced in prison for placing an arson device in a competing salon.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Ohio, Kim Lien Vu, 46, pleaded guilty in September to conspiring to commit malicious destruction via fire. Vu was sentenced earlier this week to 46 months in prison for attempting to set a competing nail salon in Monroe on fire.

Cause of NE Ohio plane crash now under investigation

According to the release, Vu developed animosity toward those at the competing nail salon. In December 2022, Vu approached her employee, 30-year-old Cierra Marie Bishop, about a plot to exact revenge on the competing salon.

Vu and Bishop eventually discussed the idea of setting the other salon on fire.

According to the release, Bishop began a design on a remote-controlled device that could start a fire. Vu and Bishop frequently texted about the plan, which they referred to as “Job 1.”

Surveillance camera footage from February 5, 2023, shows Bishop and a friend, 19-year-old Makahla An Rennick, entering the competing salon for an appointment Rennick made for a pedicure under the name “Katelynn,” according to the release.

Rennick was advised by Vu to get the latest nail appointment she could and to “just use another name. Sound white,” according to the release. Rennick is seen getting her pedicure on the surveillance video.

Beloved Parma restaurant closing for good

After Rennick’s appointment, Bishop entered and exited the salon to look for a place to plant the arson device. Eventually, she walked to the restroom area in the back of the salon and tucked the device under a salon desk before she left.

According to the release, a salon employee found the device, which smelled like gasoline. The employee opened it and saw that it was a potential explosive device, so the employee took it outside near the salon’s dumpsters.

The employee went back outside later to check on the device and found that the box had begun to catch on fire, the release said.

Monroe police and firefighters responded to the scene.

King Charles III will resume his public duties next week after cancer treatment

Although Vu was traveling or already at a property she owns in Virginia, she was in constant contact with Bishop throughout the planting of the device, according to the release.

Vu, Bishop and Rennick were indicted by a federal grand jury in February of 2023.

Bishop has also pleaded guilty and is currently awaiting sentencing, according to the release.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to Fox 8 Cleveland WJW.