Son, now jailed, ac­cused of burn­ing down house

In­ves­ti­ga­tors re­port that man said he ‘was hear­ing voices’

The Enterprise - - News - By JOHN WHAR­TON jwhar­ton@somd­ Twit­ter: @JohnEn­tNews

A Hol­ly­wood man was jailed Mon­day with­out bond to await a court hear­ing on an ar­son charge in court pa­pers al­leg­ing he ad­mit­ted setting fire to his fa­ther’s home, be­cause “he was hear­ing voices in his head” that some­one wanted to kill him.

Ni­cholas Everett Nowotny, 27, crashed a car into trees along a road near the Penin­su­lar Drive res­i­dence last Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, May

9, ac­cord­ing to the charg­ing pa­pers, and he was taken to MedS­tar St. Mary’s Hospi­tal in Leonard­town. Deputy state fire mar­shal Bran­don Shep­perd also went to the hospi­tal to talk to Nowotny, who the court pa­pers state ini­tially said he was work­ing on a gas tank while smok­ing in the home’s at­tached garage.

“I’ve been ly­ing to you,” Nowotny even­tu­ally told the in­ves­ti­ga­tor, the court pa­pers state, and he explained that he was scared, also feel­ing “how I am now” six years ago when he de­stroyed the in­te­rior of the home.

Nowotny ad­mit­ted try­ing to set two sep­a­rate fires last week in the house, in­clud­ing plac­ing a cig­a­rette on a bed where a flammable liq­uid was present, and pour­ing gaso­line inside the garage, ac­cord­ing to a charges ap­pli­ca­tion filed Fri­day by the in­ves­ti­ga­tor.

A wit­ness re­ported see­ing some­one match­ing Nowotny’s de­scrip­tion break­ing out first­floor win­dows at the home, court pa­pers state, and see­ing black smoke com­ing from the house.

Dam­age to the two-story house owned by Michael Nowotny was es­ti­mated at $350,000, ac­cord­ing to a fire mar­shal’s re­lease.

The state in­ves­ti­ga­tor de­ter­mined that it was nec­es­sary to file an emer­gency pe­ti­tion to have the sus­pect eval­u­ated, court pa­pers state, and Deputy Chief Fire Mar­shal John Nel­son said ear­lier Mon­day that the ar­son charge would be served upon the sus­pect’s re­lease from the hospi­tal.

Fifty fire­fight­ers re­sponded to the blaze, and Hol­ly­wood Vol­un­teer Fire Chief Richard Brady said live am­mu­ni­tion go­ing off inside the house briefly ham­pered their ef­forts to ex­tin­guish the fire. No one was in­jured.


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