Additional Mental Treatment Ordered for Forest-fire Suspect

Additional Mental Treatment Ordered for Forest-fire Suspect

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge has ordered further psychiatric treatment -- with forced medication, if necessary -- for the man accused of starting a 2003 wildfire that burned 1,936 acres above Farmington's east bench.

U.S. District Judge David Winder on Wednesday granted a request by federal prison authorities for additional time to treat Heinz Josef Bruhl, 35, who is in the medical unit of the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, N.C.

Winder said additional hospitalization and treatment might restore Bruhl's competency to stand trial.

His order permits correctional officials to continue to forcibly medicate Bruhl if necessary.

Bruhl is accused of setting the fire on June 10, 2003, that caused $1.5 million damage.

A police deposition said Bruhl told officers that he "started the fire because he wanted to go to prison so that he would have a place to live. Bruhl indicated to law enforcement that he was mad at society because he was unemployed, homeless and had been kicked out of the Army."

His family said he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

He is charged with setting timber afire and malicious destruction of U.S. property by fire. He was determined mentally incompetent to stand trial and was ordered housed in a medical facility and treated. Winder's order extended the treatment.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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