Is Eric Ridenour mentally competent to stand trial in the Douglas church arsons? A hearing on that issue ran late in the day Friday and left the issue unresolved.

Reporters were not allowed to sit in on the hearing. Based on matters discussed in a previous hearing it was apparently a deep dive into Ridenour’s mental health and his relationship with God.

Ridenour is charged with burning two historic churches In Douglas last May. Prosecutors say he felt the fact one church has a female pastor and the other had a gay pastor was against God’s law.

A psychiatrist wrote a report that said Ridenour is competent for trial but then said his competence could be questioned if he claimed to have conversations with God.

The doctor was called back to court Friday to clarify that comment.

Reporters were shut out of the afternoon hearing apparently because the hearing touches matters of medical and psychiatric privacy.

But the hearing ended without a ruling on whether or not Ridenour is fit for trial. Judge Scott Rash ordered a second opinion from a new psychiatrist or psychologist and it must be ready in 30 days.



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