The arraignment of Blake Fountain on a charge of first-degree arson has been pushed back by one week at the request of his lawyer.
Craig Platt, Fountain’s attorney, asked for Fountain’s arraignment to be delayed until July 24 at court on Monday. Eric Ohme, chief criminal prosecutor for Island County, said the state did not object to Platt’s request. Ohme provided an explanation for the delay.
“There have been some issues maybe regarding Mr. Fountain’s mental state, particularly as to competency,” Ohme said.
Ohme said those issues can be discussed on July 24. Fountain is facing between 21 to 27 months in prison under the standard sentencing range.
Fountain is alleged to have lit a fire that destroyed two Useless Bay Colony homes on July 6. The blaze reduced Roger and Lynn Vehorn’s house to rubble and caused extensive damage to another, while a third home suffered a broken window. Nobody was injured by the fires.
Fountain lived at the Vehorn’s residence as their gardener for about nine months. He also told a paramedic at the scene of the fires on July 6 that he had intended to commit suicide, according to a police report.
Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock asked Ohme about the outcome of Fountain’s mental health evaluation. Ohme said Fountain was admitted to North Sound Behavioral Health Organization on July 7, but discharged on July 11 “prior to stabilization” due to his felony charges.
Hancock also asked if an official investigation or evaluation by a designated Island County mental health professional was conducted, to which Ohme answered in the affirmative.
Prosecutor Greg Banks wrote in a motion for a mental health evaluation on July 10 that Fountain suffered “an acute mental health crisis” prior to the arson. He also said the police report does not reveal a motive to commit arson “beyond a disturbed mind.”