August 14, 1996 in Nation/World

Suspect In Arson Claims Insanity

Compiled From Wire Services
 
Tags:briefly

Screaming obscenities, the brain-damaged man accused of setting a fire that killed nine people at a fireworks store pleaded innocent by reason of insanity Tuesday.

Relatives of the dead were angry over Todd Hall’s courtroom outbursts, and some charged it was an act.

“He knows what he’s doing. He’s been rehearsed by his lawyer,” said Linda Carmon, whose son and granddaughter were killed in the July 3 blaze in Scottown.

Defense attorney Richard Wolfson said the 24-year-old has the mental capacity of a 12-year-old and cannot understand the allegations or the consequences of his actions. Hall underwent a lobotomy in 1987 after falling off a skateboard and hitting his head.

Hall is charged with involuntary manslaughter.


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