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Judge orders mental exam for arson suspect


The Associated Press



ABERDEEN -- A judge has ordered a second mental evaluation for a man charged with setting fire to a north Mississippi antiques business. 


U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock ordered the tests on Tuesday after Larry Wayne Loftis' attorney filed a court motion saying he is suicidal and unfit to stand trial. 


Loftis is charged with conspiracy and arson related to a March 2011 fire at Lindley's Antiques Mall in Oakland. The indictment says he's also charged with using a gun in a crime of violence "in the cover-up and getaway phase of the crime." 


Loftis' attorney, Tiffany Kilpatrick, asked for the mental evaluation on Aug. 30. She said Loftis has suffered from mental illnesses for at least 17 years, since he survived being stabbed in the head. 


Loftis is being held in the Lafayette County Detention Center, where has been placed on suicide watch after jailers found 400 pills in his cell. His lawyer says he was stashing is medication to commit suicide. The court records don't say what kind of medication he's on, but blame his worsened mental condition on the fact that he wasn't taking as prescribed. 


Another man has already pleaded guilty in the case. 


A jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 22.




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