Suspected arsonist found mentally fit to stand trial

Kevin Yang
Kevin Yang

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mental health experts have determined that a man, accused of torching his apartment building in McCully in February, understands the criminal proceedings against him and is able to assist in his defense.

After reviewing reports from three court-appointed doctors, Circuit Judge Richard Perkins on Tuesday ruled that Kevin Yang, 30, is mentally fit to stand trial on a charge of first-degree arson.

Police say the suspect confessed to setting the Hauoli Street building fire, which destroyed two apartment units, damaged two others, and caused an estimated $600,000 in damages. According to court documents, Yang's sister told investigators that he had been acting strangely in the weeks leading up to the incident, and that he may have started the fire to cover up a theft.

Prosecutors say two of the three doctors who examined the defendant found nothing substantial to suggest that he was mentally impaired at the time of the alleged offense.

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