State Watch

Suspect in massive California wildfire declared unfit for trial

The suspect in the massive Fawn Fire in California was declared unfit for trial Tuesday.

The Shasta County District Attorney’s Office said Alexandra Souverneva was declared unfit for trial after undergoing evaluations by two psychologists appointed by the court, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The evaluations by the court-appointed psychiatrists were ordered in October after her attorney said she wasn’t mentally stable enough for trial. 

The judge ordered another evaluation of Sourverneva to determine if she should go to an outpatient program at the Department of State Hospitals’ Conditional Release Program.

The judge said Tuesday the court will reconvene on Dec. 9 to look at the results of her next evaluation and see if she needs to go to the outpatient program, according to the local outlet.

“The purpose of this process is to restore a defendant to competency so that they can stand trial,” the office said. 

Souverneva was arrested back in September on arson to wild land charges. She was seen coming out of a bush near a fire line asking for help after others reported a woman who trespassed on the property and was acting irrationally.

Thousands had to evacuate after the fire was started as the conditions in California have led to an active and devastating fire season. 

The Hill has reached out to the district attorney’s office for comment.

Tags Arrest California wildfires Criminal defenses Mental health law
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