Accused Arsonist Collapses in Court
Curtis Westover reported to be ill.
Zion Road resident Curtis Westover collapsed as he entered a courtroom Monday to answer charges he set a fire in a historic Amwell Road property in March, according to NJ.com
The report quotes Westover's attorney, Chanel Hudson, as noting Westover was in poor health, mentally and physically.
The charges stem from a March 18 fire at 697 Amwell Road, which investigators deemed suspicious. The property was built in the 1800s, but had fallen into disrepair in recent years. Owner John Lazorchak had been trying to demolish the structure to build a 6,700-square-foot office building.
Westover was taken into custody March 26, and released on $50,000 bond. He had applied for a pre-trial intervention program, which could have led to dismissal of the charges, but was refused by Elizabeth Lipari, the director of Somerset County's PTI program.
Court papers said Westover’s application was rejected based on the nature of the charge, but Assistant Prosecutor Frank Kolozieski wrote in a letter that despite Westover’s age and his lack of a previous record, that the case was “outrageous” and “worthy” of a traditional prosecution.
NJ.com reported Westover's next court date is scheduled for Jan. 25.