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Brehaut pursues insanity defense in arson fire

By Walter Geiger Alleged Lighthouse Restaurant arsonist Stephen Neal Brehaut may not enter a guilty plea in Lamar superior court April 24 as was announced during the pre-trial calendar call April 11. Brehaut has filed two motions that would tend to at least delay any plea. One is a motion to raise the issue of insanity or mental incompetence. In it, defense attorney Eric Hearn alleges Brehaut, 38, ‘is or was insane, mentally incompetent or mentally ill’ at the time of the fire at the family restaurant on July 10, 2012. The second motion is a special plea of insanity in which Hearn attests Brehaut ‘is not guilty of decades. the violations charged’¦ because he was legally insane at the time’¦’ The motion asserts Brehaut is suffering from a mental disability and the condition led to and/or contributed to the allegations against him. It further reads, ‘Defendant asserts that nothing has changed in regards to his mental situation since the date of these allegations.’ Brehaut confessed to the crime days after the fire, according to the state fire marshal’s office. He was reportedly captured setting the blaze on the restaurant’s security camera system. He told authorities he burned the facility to collect insurance money. Brehaut was part owner of the iconic restaurant which had done business in the same location for generations to collect insurance money.

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