Defendant in Bedford Middle School arson case found competent to stand trial

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The man accused of setting fire to the old Bedford Middle School was found competent to stand trial on Wednesday.

Daniel Flint is charged with breaking into the historic former school on Jan. 23, and starting a devastating fire.

Flint appeared in court virtually for a hearing to go over the results of his competency report on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Flint’s attorney, Bedford County Public Defender Michael Lonchar, ordered the competency exam, and he did not dispute the findings.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance said he didn’t get a copy of the report until the hearing started when Lonchar gave him a copy, which Nance said he appreciated.

Nance said the evaluating doctor is required to provide the report to the court and both attorneys in advance of the hearing. Ultimately, Nance had no issues with the report and also did not object to the results.

“If there would have been some issue with his competency that required further argument,” he said, “that may not have been able to proceed today, since I received my report so late, but fortunately, it was consistent with what I anticipated.”

Based on the report, Judge Randy Krantz found Flint competent to stand trial.

Flint’s preliminary hearing is now scheduled for Jan. 25, 2021, two days after the one year anniversary of the fire.

Krantz also ruled today that reporters can bring cameras into the courtroom when the hearings begin, despite Lonchar’s objections.

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