Son, now jailed, accused of burning down house
Investigators report that man said he ‘was hearing voices’
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.