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Arson spree suspect’s case will see grand jury

“Just saying that God or some spiritual thing told you to do what you did, does not relieve you from the criminal responsibility of that,”
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 9:09 PM CST
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MADISON CO., Ala. (WAFF) - The man accused of going on an arson spree case was bound over to a grand jury Wednesday. Nicholas Hubbert is facing multiple counts of arson, he’s accused of setting 10 businesses on fire in September.

This all happened within a span of two and a half hours. One of the ten buildings, a Dollar General, was a total loss. Plato’s Closet just recently re-opened after the damage.

“Do I think it would have continued? I honestly do think it would have continued. Of course Huntsville Police and the surrounding areas got on it, they found him quick, and did their job well to get him into custody cause I have no doubt that was - that ten wasn’t where he was stopping,” said Assistant District Attorney Shauna Barnett.

An investigator testified that Hubbert admitted to setting the businesses on fire after he was taken into custody following a vehicle pursuit, and said he stopped to light more fires when he was told to, but wouldn’t say who told him to.

The investigator said Hubbert was seen on surveillance videos lighting the fires with a $20 bill. Barnett says the majority of arson cases are due to mental health issues.

“A lot of times religious or biblical type connotations in the reasoning for what they do,” said Barnett.

Hubbert’s defense attorney Larry Marsili says this isn’t your typical arson case, and he believes mental health issues will be something he factors in.

“Usually there’s a clear motive usually there’s a clear reason,” said Marsili.

“Just saying that God or you know some spiritual thing told you to do what you did does not relieve you from the criminal responsibility of that,” said Barnett.

Barnett says what makes this case so disturbing, is that all the buildings were occupied, and resources deployed almost simultaneously, leaving residents vulnerable.

“What if you have a car wreck and you need the jaws of life but all of our firefighters are deployed to one of these ten events that are almost simultaneously occurring,” said Barnett.

If found guilty, Hubbert could face up to life in prison.

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