His mental health issues prevent prosecution of a transient who torched two churches in Dolan Springs last September. Authorities said James Earl Johnson, 78, resorted to arson as revenge after being asked to leave both churches.
The Mt. Tipton Church on El Dorado Drive was heavily damaged while the Baptist Church on Pierce Ferry Road was destroyed. Arrest paperwork indicated that Johnson told others that “hell fire and damnation is going to spit down” hours before the churches were set ablaze.
One witness said Johnson took a rock from one of the churches claiming it to be his “trophy”. No one was hurt in the fires.
Johnson has been held at the Arizona State hospital in Phoenix, a mental health facility. Experts have concluded that they are unable to restore Johnson to be mentally competent to stand trial.
Accordingly, Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steve Conn dismissed the criminal case during a June 17 hearing. Johnson is committed to the care of Mohave Mental Health.