Arson arraignment delayed for mental health check

PORT ANGELES — A 29-year-old woman’s mental health will be evaluated to determine the direction of first-degree arson and residential burglary charges against her.

Amanda Jo Jarvis’ arraignment Friday in Clallam County Superior Court was instead delayed by Judge Pro Tem Alexandrea Schodowski while paperwork is processed for Jarvis’ competency evaluation.

Schodowski scheduled a status hearing for April 16.

Jarvis, whose address is listed as transient in court documents and who had recently been living in a tent, according to court documents, will be evaluated by a mental health counselor at the county jail.

She was being held Saturday on $51,500 bail on the two felonies and a first-degree criminal trespass case out of District Court.

Jarvis was a suspect in the arson case when she was arrested for investigation of trespass inside a Port Angeles apartment — the occupant said they did not know her — a day after a garage fire across the street from the city fire station.

The blaze damaged the inside of the building at 105 E. First St., property owned by former Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour, who retired in June.

Schodowski is hearing the case after judges Brent Basden and Simon Barnhart recused themselves under the state Code of Judicial Conduct. Judge Lauren Erickson is on medical leave.

Port Angeles lawyer John Hayden of Clallam Public Defender represents Jarvis.

“I had a chance to do some investigation with a few people about this matter and, in an abundance of caution, we’re going to ask that we set a date to have Ms. Jarvis evaluated for competence,” Hayden told Schodowski.

“She presents kind of an interesting situation, and I feel better doing this, having spoken with various folks about her situation. I think this is a sensible way to go at this point.”

Schodowski said there was good cause not to proceed with the arraignment and set April 16 to review the status of Jarvis’ evaluation.

Schodowski said the evaluation will be conducted at the jail by a licensed mental health counselor. Hayden expressed some doubt Jarvis will be seen by April 16.

“They may be able to get up there within two weeks, and we’ll see,” he said.

Residential burglary, a Class B felony, is unlawfully entering or remaining in a dwelling with intent to commit a crime. First-degree arson is a Class A felony.

Jarvis also had a second-degree burglary case in Kitsap County Superior Court that had been set for an April 1 status hearing.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.