Mental health exam ordered for wildfires suspect - New York News

Mental health exam ordered for wildfires suspect

Updated:

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A defense lawyer says a man suspected of starting a string of forest wildfires near Flagstaff may be mentally ill, and a judge has ordered that a psychologist evaluate the man.

Assistant Public Defender Luke Mulligan said his communication with Mark Mastin indicates that the California man "may have a mental disease or defect" that could affect his competency.

Magistrate Mark Aspey scheduled a May 30 hearing for Mastin.

Mastin was charged Monday with one count of burning federal land without a permit, but prosecutors have said Mastin could face additional charges.

Authorities tracked down the 40-year-old Mastin through boot prints found at the fires' origin.

According to a criminal complaint, Mastin admitted to starting 6 of the fires, repeatedly apologized to authorities and offered to clean up the area.

Follow this story: Man charged in connection with Flagstaff wildfires

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.


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