Man charged in house fire feared the government wanted to kill him
SOMERS POINT — A man who set a house on fire because he thought the government was trying to kill him was released from jail on Wednesday and ordered to seek mental health treatment.
Video captures DeShaun Howard, 21, and Faith Tompkins, 18, both of Somers Point, driving to get gasoline, spreading it around the foundation and lighting the fire on Dawes Avenue about 4 a.m. on March 23, according to an affidavit obtained by BreakingAC.com.
The family sleeping inside made it out safely, according to the report.
The Somers Point Fire Department said the fire was on the deck of the house. A picture of the house shows it was not heavily damaged.
Both Howard and Tompkins were arrested March 24 and charged with aggravated arson, criminal mischief and conspiracy and held at the Atlantic County Justice Facility.
'Seeing things and hearing things'
At a detention hearing on Wednesday, Howard's attorney said that his client was experiencing "severe mental health issues." He was undergoing psychosis and thought the government was trying to kill him, his attorney told the judge.
Howard was released and ordered to get mental health help within two days, according to BreakingAC.com. Tompkins was ordered to remain in custody.
The relationship between Howard, Tompkins and the residents of the house was not disclosed.
Somers Point police on Thursday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.