PORT ANGELES — A court hearing for alleged arsonist Denise K. Kovacevic has been reset because of a pending mental health evaluation.
Kovacevic, 40, is charged with first-degree arson for allegedly setting fire to a mattress in the living room of an apartment she was living in March 29.
Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson ordered Kovacevic on April 3 to have a mental health evaluation to determine if she is competent to stand trial.
Port Angeles police said that Kovacevic suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past and that her symptoms had escalated prior to the fire at the Serenity House of Clallam County’s Evergreen Family Village.
No one was injured in the fire but three families were displayed by the damage, Serenity House officials said.
The court-ordered mental health evaluation had not taken place as of last Friday.
“I think we’re just in a holding pattern on this case,” defense attorney John Hayden told Erickson.
“My thought would be to set this down for a review, maybe in two weeks, to see if that [evaluation] has happened, or if it’s going to be scheduled by then.”
Steven Johnson, Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney, did not object to a continuance.
Erickson reset the review hearing for 9 a.m. April 26.
Kovacevic allegedly admitted to starting the fire at the fourplex in west Port Angeles, officer Erik Smith wrote in his arrest report.
The Port Angeles Fire Department arrived at the fire at 9:10 a.m. and declared it under control at 9:28 a.m.
Kovacevic was arrested in a family member’s home later that day, police said.
Kovacevic remained in the Clallam County jail on $50,000 bond on Tuesday.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].