Accused arsonist not allowed to plead insanity

First-degree felony is in connection with an apartment fire.
Cary Ashby
Jun 3, 2014


An accused arsonist isn't allowed to enter a plea of "not guilty by reason of insanity."

"The doctor didn't find any basis for the plea," Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said at the beginning of Monday's hearing without elaborating.

The defendant, former Plymouth resident Christopher A. Barber, 19, of Shelby, is charged with aggravated arson, which is punishable by three to 11 years in prison. The first-degree felony is in connection with a June 25 apartment fire investigated by the Willard Police Department.

Huron County Public Defender David Longo agreed to stipulate to the doctor's report and assessment Monday. This was the second evaluation that Longo had requested.

"There's not much point in continuing to beat a dead horse," Longo told the judge.

Barber, who has a final pre-trial hearing July 14, has a trial set for the following day. Attorneys expect the trial to take as long as three days. Longo has said there might a "a lot of scientific evidence" presented and it's "quite possible" he might request to have the jury view the suspected crime scene.

A cat died in the fire that caused about $100,000 worth of damage. Prosecutors have accused Barber of setting a sheet of paper and some bedding on fire, which could have left four families homeless. However, nobody was injured.

Barber must post a $100,000 bond before being released from the Huron County Jail.



Maybe he should plead "Stupidity" then and take it like a man.


This whole situation could have been a lot worse! This happen in my apartment building and there were maybe 7 children that lived in this building plus adults, we were all displaced for a night and this man does not know that lighting a piece of paper on fire and throwing it on a bed is wrong ok my 6 year old knows better!!! I don't see him as has having a mental problem!! All of us involved had to leave our apartments for the night I had to leave work bc I didn't know how bad the fire was he completely destroyed a whole one bed room apartment and he wants sympathy what about if on of is lost one of our children. He knowing set a fire knowing what damage it would cause point blank!!!!