Crime

Miami Beach Serial Arson Suspect Is Too Crazy to Stand Trial

You can accuse Joel Paul Williams of setting fire to several abandoned buildings in the Collins Park area of South Beach, but you can't accuse him of being a liar. When police arrested the 33-year-old homeless man in February, the only explanation offered was: "I'm insane." Well, now a court has declared that owing to his mental state, he isn't fit to stand trial.


According to the Miami Herald, Williams's mental state is so poor that he cannot help his defense lawyer. Instead of standing trial, he'll be placed under the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families and sent to a state psychiatric facility until he is deemed competent enough to stand trial.

Williams might be connected to as many as ten fires that tore through abandoned buildings and trash cans in South Beach earlier this year, but he is charged with only two of those blazes. He is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and burglary of an occupied structure.



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Kyle Munzenrieder