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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsAccused Arsonist Declared Competent to Stand Trial

Accused Arsonist Declared Competent to Stand Trial

A Texas man arrested and charged with a string of attacks on federal facilities on St. Thomas has been cleared for prosecution by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Defendant Spencer Wayne Allen was arrested Feb. 28 on St. Thomas by an off-duty Port Authority enforcement officer. (See ‘Related Link’ below.)

The arrest came a few minutes after a blaze broke out at the Navy recruitment office in Nisky Center.

According to court records, Allen was seen, on security camera, dousing a planter in front of the Ron de Lugo Federal Building and the Coast Guard station with gasoline and setting them alight.

The defendant was initially declared mentally unfit for prosecution after U.S. Magistrate Ruth Miller ordered a psychiatric evaluation. A competency hearing was held in a courtroom closed to the public June 14. Details of that hearing were ordered sealed by the court. Around the same time, a compliance hearing on activities at the St. Thomas Criminal Justice Complex were heard before District Court Judge Curtis Gomez.

During that hearing, Corrections Bureau officials were questioned about a jail guard’s response to an inmate with the initials S.A.. They were also asked for details about apparent suicide attempts by “S.A.” twice at the jail and twice at the Roy L. Schneider Hospital.

Court records gathered in the Allen case also include a handwritten note by the defendant, in which he declared he was in contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin and was acting as a Russian agent at the time of his arrest.

The defendant was sent off island for evaluation at a federal psychiatric hospital.

On Dec. 8 Miller received a notice from the prison bureau, saying Allen received a Certificate of Restoration of Competency.

“Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that the United States Attorney shall, in concert with the United States Marshal Service, arrange for the return of the defendant forthwith to this jurisdiction for further proceedings in this matter,” the FBP notice said.

That was followed Dec. 17 by the filing of formal charging documents. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamkia Hinson filed a three-count criminal information with the court.

Allen faces one count of arson and two counts of vandalism for his alleged actions on Feb. 28. The magistrate ordered him to appear for arraignment in U.S. District Court on St. Thomas Jan. 10. He also was ordered to turn over “any explosive materials involved, used, or intended to be used in the violation(s).”

Federal Public Defender Omodare Jupiter is the defense attorney of record in the case.

Firebomb damage at Nisky Center recruiting station Feb. 28.
Firebomb damage at Nisky Center recruiting station Feb. 28. (Source file photo)


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