Peorian Charged in Deadly Fire Found Unfit Again

Published 04/04 2014 07:22PM

Updated 04/04 2014 09:21PM

A Peoria man, accused of causing the city's deadliest fire 25 years ago, was again found unfit to stand trial on Friday and was remanded to the Department of Human Services and its mental health center in Anna, Illinois. Joe Pickens is accused of killing nine people, including seven children in 1989 when he allegedly set fire to a mattress in a family's home on the east bluff. Authorities believe he set the fire after becoming upset after being told to leave the house for causing a disturbance. During Friday's court hearing, the judge ruled Pickens suffers from a mental illness and because of this illness, is unable to provide for his own basic physical needs. Pickens will have another fitness hearing October 3rd.

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