Justin Mur­phy back in court July 30

More time needed for as­sess­ment of thrift store ar­son sus­pect

The Compass - - NEWS - Tele­gram@thetele­gram.com

The man ac­cused of start­ing a fire at a St. John’s thrift store will spend an­other week at the Water­ford Hos­pi­tal for fur­ther psy­chi­atric eval­u­a­tion.

Justin Mur­phy, 27, faces charges of ar­son and fail­ure to com­ply with a pro­ba­tion or­der in re­la­tion to the July 4 fire at the Sal­va­tion Army Thrift Store on Ken­mount Road. The store re­port­edly sus­tained mod­er­ate dam­age.

He ap­peared early Tues­day af­ter­noon in St. John’s provin­cial court. He was ar­rested July 8 and was sent to the Water­ford Hos­pi­tal the fol­low­ing day. Judge Gre­gory Brown said a let­ter from a physi­cian at the hos­pi­tal in­di­cated Mur­phy’s eval­u­a­tion was thus far in­com­plete. Mur­phy will re­turn to court on July 30.

A video re­leased by the Royal New­found­land Con­stab­u­lary prior to Mur­phy’s ar­rest showed a per­son wear­ing a hoodie walk­ing around the area be­hind the store. Even­tu­ally, that same area was shown with sev­eral fires burn­ing.

The men­tal health of the ac­cused came up last year when he was sen­tenced to nine months in jail for charges that in­cluded break and en­ter, theft and danger­ous driv­ing. Judge Robert Hys­lop ref­er­enced the fact Mur­phy is in­tel­lec­tu­ally chal­lenged and has a di­ag­nosed de­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­der.

Transcon­ti­ne­nal Me­dia file photo

Justin Mur­phy.

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