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Warrant issued for Montpelier man accused of setting his motel room on fire

Bear Lake County Courthouse | Kalama Hines,
PARIS — A man charged with arson and malicious injury to property has a warrant issued for his arrest after failing to appear in court Thursday.
District Judge Cody Brower, defense attorney Samuel James, prosecuting attorney Adam McKenzie and probation and parole officer Karen Hatch all voiced concerns regarding the mental health of 45-year-old Robert Jacob Amidan.
RELATED | Montpelier man charged after allegedly setting fire to motel room
Amidan, who faces two felony charges, was scheduled for a change of plea hearing Thursday morning at the Bear Lake County Courthouse but was not present. James told Brower that a family member called him to report that Amidan had been involved in a motorcycle crash in Cokeville, Wyoming but that the facts of the incident were unclear.
James went on to explain Amidan’s numerous efforts to seek mental health treatment, but that he was removed from one facility for threatening to blow it up and denied access to another. McKenzie proposed that Brower issue a bench warrant for Amidan’s arrest and have jail medical staff assess him for involuntary commitment.
Asked her thoughts on Amidan’s state, Hatch said, “He (Amidan) is not stable right now,” adding that he had not been removed from treatment previously.
James agreed that “He (Amidan) does need to get some mental health help,” but said that he should not be punished saying again that Amidan made an effort to seek voluntary treatment and that his absence from court was due to transportation issues.
The defense attorney noted what he suggested were shortcomings in Idaho’s treatment of mental health ailments.
Brower said he shares “many of the same frustrations” regarding the way mental illness is treated, but added that there is a concern about the risk Amidan presents to the public given his condition and charged offense. The judge went on to say that vehicle problems are “all too often an excuse.”
Amidan was arrested in April after Montpelier police responded to reports of a fire at an area motel. While attempting to gain access to the room in an attempt to extinguish the fire, officers reported Amidan throwing items through the window in their direction.
Officers used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze through the broken window.
A bench warrant was issued with a bond amount of $7,500. Amidan was released on his own recognizance by Magistrate Judge Todd Garbett on May 8, court records show.
The post Warrant issued for Montpelier man accused of setting his motel room on fire appeared first on East Idaho News.

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