REDDING, Calif. (AP) — A woman accused of starting a wildfire in Northern California that destroyed more than 100 homes in September was deemed incompetent to stand trial on Tuesday after she was evaluated by two court-appointed psychologists.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports a judge ordered Alexandra Souverneva to be evaluated for possible placement at the Department of State Hospitals’ Conditional Release Program, an outpatient treatment system for people who charged with crimes and experiencing psychiatric symptoms.
That evaluation will be reviewed at her next court date, on Dec. 9, the newspaper said.
Authorities believe Souverneva, 31, set the Fawn Fire on Sept. 22 near Shasta Lake in an unincorporated area north of the city of Redding. Investigators said she was found near where the blaze started and was arrested.
She was ordered to undergo psychological evaluations in October when her attorney cast doubt on her ability to contribute to her own defense in court.
Souverneva, of Palo Alto, is charged with felony arson with enhancements because the fire started during a state of emergency. She has pleaded not guilty.