Commentary by Sam Spital Criminal Defense Attorney:
“A 4:00 a.m. Sunday fire that seriously damaged a Greek Orthodox Church in an amount estimated to be a ¼ million dollars in El Cajon, an adjacent city to San Diego, was reported in the digital NBC Channel 39 news on January 28, 2013 . The story revealed the suspect in the arson, 38 year old Darin Williams, has a history of being institutionalized, in out of mental hospitals. He was arrested for arson, burglary and a hate crime. Fortunately, the fire occurred at a time when no one was inside the Church that was founded about 20 years ago.
The reporter did not personally offer nor seek an opinion from a forensic expert on the motive of the suspect with whom other church members were aware. It was also known that the Reverend allowed him to live on the grounds, had received his checks and was paying his bills. It is evident Williams needed more than spiritual guidance for his mental illness. This story is a further example of a far too common situation in which an individual fails to be accountable for his apparently overpowering challenges; even more importantly, it evinces how others with whom he came in contact failed to insist upon him obtaining ongoing therapy and psychiatric care to safeguard against this and similar devastating scourges repeatedly taking place in society today.”