The man accused of starting a fire at an Amherst Target department store appeared in Amherst Town Court this morning, but the proceeding was rescheduled for Sept. 19 because the defendant hasn’t undergone a court-ordered mental health evaluation, his defense attorney said.
William Lattin, who has been charged with second-degree arson, told the judge he did not start the fire on Aug. 15, even though Amherst police say he admitted the crime after he was arrested the next day. His defense attorney, Robert Cutting, thinks Lattin has significant mental health issues but said he hasn’t been cooperative about taking the mental exam.
Lattin also told the judge he had over 200 prior arrests, but the judge, looking at Lattin’s file, said the number was closer to 40, Cutting said.
Cutting was assigned to Lattin on Tuesday and said Lattin may not be competent to stand trial, in which case he would be institutionalized.