Penn Valley man facing arson, gun charges arrested
A Penn Valley man accused in February of setting his house on fire and pointing a replica gun at deputies was arrested this week, authorities said.
Brent Morgan, 32, faces felony charges of arson of an inhabited structure and vandalism. He faces one misdemeanor: brandishing a replica gun, Nevada County Superior Court records state.
Authorities on Feb. 27 took Morgan to the hospital after a prosecutor said he made “suicidal suggestive statements” and exhibited bizarre behavior. The District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against him on April 4. Morgan was booked Tuesday into jail. He’s since been released on his own recognizance, and is next scheduled to appear in court May 16, records state.
“I have already told his attorney that I will not object to an assessment by the Mental Health Court team,” Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Hotaling said in an email.
Deputy Public Defender Tamara Zuromskis, who represents Morgan, said an application to Mental Health Court is a possibility in the case.
Mental Health Court provides supervision, which includes treatment, to people who qualify. If completed successfully, criminal charges are reduced or dismissed.
Authorities have said they responded Feb. 27 to the 20000 block of Penn Valley Drive. They called out to Morgan, who was by a broken window. Morgan told the deputies they’d be shot in they entered.
According to reports, Morgan wielded what appeared to be an AR-15. He pointed it outside, leading deputies to find cover. Authorities then heard a popping noise and saw smoke coming from the window. Morgan reappeared and climbed through the window.
Holding a broom handle, Morgan was ordered to drop what they thought was a weapon. Deputies then apprehended him, reports state.
Firefighters have said the blaze was confined to one room. It took 10 minutes to extinguish the fire.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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