The Herald Bulletin

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June 25, 2014

South Bend man seeks insanity defense in home arson case

SOUTH BEND — A northern Indiana man who was seriously injured in a deadly house fire as a child is seeking an insanity defense in a case in which he allegedly set fire to his house.

Twenty-four-year-old Mark O'Banion Jr. is charged with two counts of arson for allegedly igniting a fire in his South Bend trailer home following a May confrontation with his wife.

O'Banion's public defender asked a St. Joseph County judge Tuesday to appoint doctors to evaluate O'Banion and determine if he's competent to stand trial. His attorney also filed a notice stating that he intends to use an insanity defense for O'Banion in the case.

The South Bend Tribune reports that O'Banion and his brother were seriously injured in a 1996 house fire that killed two other siblings.

-- The Associated Press

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