June 28, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Arts center arson trial delayed

MEDINA — A decision on whether a former Medina High student accused of setting fire to the Medina Performing Arts Center is competent to stand trial has been delayed at least three weeks.

Davon Phillips, 19, of 3245 W. Friendship St., is charged with aggravated arson, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison.

Davon Phillips, 19, and his attorney, David Gedrock appear in Medina County Common Pleas Court on Friday. Phillips is accused on setting a fire at the Medina High School Perfroming Arts Center in June. (LOREN GENSON / GAZETTE)

According to police and fire investigators, Phillips set fire June 25 to the stage area of the arts center, located on the high school campus. He was working there as part of a summer program offered by Medina County Workforce Development through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Phillips had graduated from Medina High in May.

At a hearing Friday, Phillips’ attorney, David Gedrock, said he wanted more time to get a competency evaluation for his client.

An earlier court-ordered evaluation found Phillips competent to stand trial.

Gedrock said he wanted time to work with the prosecutor’s office to see if a plea deal offer was still on the table.

“If that’s still available, we may be able to resolve this case,” Gedrock said.

Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler granted Gedrock’s request and scheduled the next hearing for Jan. 3.

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