Arson Meds For Depression 2011-03-08 California Man Sets Fires in Mall: Now Being Treated For Depression Without Medications
Summary:

Paragraph eight reads:  " 'He sought treatment.  Regrettably the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing…all was trying to get medication to help him which ultimately resulted in hurting him and what caused him to frankly do things he shouldn't have done,' said Griffin."

He said Piggee has now gotten treatment.  Piggee told the judge his not on any medication now and that he's getting treatment for depression.



http://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-galleria-mall-fire-suspect-pleads-guilty-20110308,0,4549419.story

SACRAMENTO COUNTY

The man accused of setting fire to the Roseville Galleria Mall last October has agreed to plead guilty to two federal arson charges in exchange for a lesser sentence.

Alexander Piggee was deemed mentally competent before Judge John Menez accepted the plea agreement which calls for him to serve 10 years in a federal prison.  One arson charge involved setting fire to a Walmart garden center. Later the same morning, he started a fire in a storeroom of a Game Stop store in the mall after he ordered employees out of the store.  That fire got into the attic and caused an estimated $55 million in damages.

Federal prosecutor Steve Lapham said the lesser sentence was justified because Piggee had no criminal record and unlike other arsons prosecuted by his office, there was no monetary gain, fraud or other criminal scheme.

"This speaks more to giving a break to a kid who did a stupid act," said federal prosecutor Steve Lapham.  "A little leniency was in order here," he added.

Piggee's defense attorney Johnny Griffin was pleased with the plea agreement.

The maximum for each count is 20 years without parole.  He said his client suffered from a mental illness for which he sought help.  But Griffin said he was released from one mental health facility after just three days without getting the care he needed.  Other kinds of help were inconsistent and not coordinated.

"He sought treatment.  Regrettably the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing…all was trying to get medication to help him which ultimately resulted in hurting him and what caused him to frankly do things he shouldn't have done," said Griffin.

He said Piggee has now gotten treatment.  Piggee told the judge his not on any medication now and that he's getting treatment for depression.

Griffin says he's sorry for what he did. "Had he been in the state of mind he's in right now this would not have happened," said Griffin.

Judge Mendez is not legally bound by the plea agreement and he will hear statements from both sides before he hands down a sentence.  Griffin says he will talk about his clients mental health problems as well as argue that the fire would have been a minor event if others let the fire get out of control.

"Yes, Piggee was at fault but others also contributed to the massive loss," said Griffin.

A post fire report said a maintenance worker turned off the sprinkler system before the fire got large, and police refused to enter the store fearing that Piggee had a gun and an bomb.  None were found.

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