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Woman charged with burning cars in Mount Vernon declared incompetent for trial

mt vernon cars 2.jpg
Posted at 10:54 AM, Jan 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-07 11:06:49-05

BALTIMORE — The woman arrested and charged with setting cars on fire in Mount Vernon has been declared mentally unfit to stand trial, WMAR 2 News Mallory Sofastaii reports.

Residents of the neighborhood awoke in the early morning hours of Dec. 21 to see several cars engulfed in flames. Police later said a suspect had poured accelerant on seven vehicles and lit them ablaze, with two additional cars burning as collateral damage.

By Friday evening, police had arrested 25-year-old Lakia Letterlough and charged her with 10 counts of first-degree malicious burning. During a bail review hearing on Dec. 26, a judge ordered Letterlough undergo a mental health assessment.

Medical professionals declared Letterlough incompetent, her attorney Roya Hanna confirmed. Letterlough's status conference has been canceled and she will be transferred to a hospital where doctors can treat and evaluate her in an effort to make her competent to stand trial.

Letterlough’s father, Jeffrey Letterlough, spoke exclusively with Sofastaii about his daughter’s struggles with mental health, telling the story of a woman who went from being an aspiring entrepreneur to an alleged arsonist and the accompanying descent into criminal and mental health troubles.

“Her wit was just unbelievable,” the elder Letterlough said in an interview. “And then you look at that picture and think, wow, this isn't my baby."