EL CAJON (CNS) - A man who set fire to a church in Rancho San Diego and attacked a cellmate four days after his arrest was ordered Tuesday to spend seven years and four months in a state mental hospital.
Darin Wayne Williams, 39, pleaded guilty last month to arson and assault with intent to commit mayhem.
Following a full evaluation by two court-appointed doctors, attorneys on both sides agreed that Williams was legally insane at the time of both offenses.
On Tuesday, Judge John Thompson ordered that Williams be committed to Patton State Hospital for the seven-year-plus term.
While there, Williams will "receive treatment for a major mental illness and the public will remain protected," said Deputy District Attorney David Williams III, who is no relation to the defendant.
If, after seven years and four months at the hospital, doctors determine the defendant still poses a threat to the community, he could stay there for two-year extensions for the rest of his life, according to the prosecutor.
The defendant was arrested Jan. 27 within hours of a fire that caused about $250,000 in damage to Saint Gregory of Nyssa Green Orthodox Church in the 1900 block of Maryann Way at Jamacha Road.
No one was injured in the 4 a.m. blaze, which was investigated by the sheriff's Bomb/Arson Unit and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The defendant was known to church officials before the fire. The Rev.
Simeon Corona, a Greek Orthodox priest, told reporters that Williams had been in psychiatric hospitals before and was released from one shortly before he set the fire.
Williams had been renting a room from a church parishioner and became upset after he was told he could no longer stay there unless he took his medication, according to the priest.
His motive for attacking his cellmate was unclear.
San Diego State University police are responding to a gas leak on campus, the department said in a series of alerts at about 9:20 a.m.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is scheduled Friday to tour the Otay Mesa Immigration and Detention Facility, where she will visit migrant mothers who were separated from their children.
Sentencing is scheduled Friday for a San Diego man who beat, raped and strangled a female friend after watching her have sex with another couple, then stuffed her body in a suitcase and put it out with the trash.
As the weather heats up, County Animal Services says you may see more rattlesnakes out and about. The department has already received 656 rattlesnake calls since the beginning of the year, 100 more than last year at this time. Some 30 calls came in since last Wednesday.
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Two dogs attacked a woman and her toddler son on an East County roadside Thursday, leaving them seriously injured, authorities said.
Come into Battle Axe and you are sure to learn a thing or two. The "axperts" will teach you two-handed throws and a little humility.