NJ professor in arson plot kills self after being released over virus fears
NEW YORK — A New Jersey college instructor who was accused last year of carrying gasoline and lighters into St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York has died, his lawyer said.
Marc Lamparello died by suicide April 17, attorney Christopher DiLorenzo said Thursday. Lamparello had been released from a secure psychiatric hospital last month because of the spread of the coronavirus.
Lamparello, 38, of Hasbrouck Heights, was arrested April 17, 2019, after entering the landmark St. Patrick’s Cathedral carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters, officials said.
He had been arrested at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in New Jersey earlier in the week and had booked a flight to Rome, authorities said.
A Manhattan judge found Lamparello mentally unfit for trial after his arrest. He had been expected to enter mental health court after being rehabilitated at the Mid Hudson Forensic Center and later evaluated by special court staff, who recommended his participation in the program.
But DiLorenzo said that after being released from the Mid Hudson center last month, Lamparello “languished without therapeutic treatment."
“He was a good person but he had mental health issues,” DiLorenzo said.
Prosecutors said Lamparello, who had taught philosophy as an adjunct professor at Lehman College in New York City and Seton Hall University in New Jersey, spent a considerable amount of time surveilling St. Patrick’s.
Lamparello pleaded not guilty to attempted arson and reckless endangerment.
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