Springfield arson suspect to undergo mental health evaluation

Police say Mardell Davis confessed to setting fires in Springfield

Photo courtesy Springfield Police Department

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The man accused of intentionally setting fires in Springfield had been scheduled to be arraigned in Springfield District Court Monday, but he was not in the courtroom. He will now undergo a mental health evaluation at a state hospital.

According to Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney, 30-year-old Mardell Davis was arrested in connection to five fires that were set on Union, Hancock, and Andrews Streets last week.

Suspect arrested in connection to Springfield arsons

Delaney said Davis became a suspect in the arson fires after police found video evidence and interviewed witnesses. He said Davis was arrested Friday on Williams Street in Springfield, after jumping over a barbed wire fence in an attempt to escape police.

Delaney said Davis later confessed to setting all five the fires while being questioned by police. He’s now facing five counts of arson in connection to those fires.

Davis is also wanted in Maryland, where he’s facing several charges including rape, sexual assault, and homicide.

The suspect was not at Springfield District Court for his arraignment Monday. A doctor who evaluated Davis told the judge that the 30 year-old had been having difficulty communicating, that he was shaking, and said he was hearing voices. She recommended that he undergo further evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital. The judge agreed, and no plea was entered in the case. Davis will remain held for the evaluation at Bridgewater. His next court date is scheduled for April 7.