Arson Suspect Held in VT
It's been over a week since Phillip Jordan allegedly started four fires throughout the City of Pittsfield, however he has yet face charges in Berkshire Superior Court.
The 58 year old Pittsfield resident is still being held at Northwest State Correctional Facility in Swanton, Vermont. September 23, Jordan was arrested at the Vermont Canada border in an attempt to flee the county, and subsequently arrested on a fugitive from the law charge.
Jordan's court appointed attorney has requested that he undergo a mental health competency exam, as several friends and family members have said he was afflicted with mental health issues at the time of the fires. However, because Jordan has not been accused of committing a crime in Vermont, the court lacks the authority to order a competency exam.
According to The Berkshire Eagle, the question of whether Jordan is able to understand and waive his legal rights is holding up a request from law enforcement officials in Pittsfield that he be extradited to Massachusetts. To resolve the issue, a judge in Vermont accepted a recommendation for a hearing that could allow Jordan's transfer without undergoing an evaluation. At that hearing, Jordan will be asked two things, confirm his identity and acknowledge he was in Pittsfield at the time of the fires. If he is able to answer those two questions, he will be returned to Massachusetts, if he is unable to do so he will remain held in Vermont.
When Jordan is returned to Pittsfield, he's expected to face three counts of burning a dwelling.