Mental health exam ordered for wildfires suspect - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Mental health exam ordered for wildfires suspect

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FLAGSTAFF, AZ (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 six of the fires, repeatedly apologized to authorities and offered to clean up the area.

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