Mental exam ordered for man charged in 5 fire deaths

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

A competency exam was ordered Thursday for the man charged with setting a fire that killed five people earlier this month on Detroit’s east side.

Judge Deborah Langston of Detroit’s 36th District Court ordered Henry Keith Johnson, 55, to undergo the exam. He is due back in court June 22 for a hearing on the results of that examination.

Johnson is accused of setting the fire about 1:25 p.m. March 8 at an apartment building in the 10500 block of Whittier. He appeared in court Thursday and said: “I didn’t murder nobody.”

In addition to the fatalities, several others were injured in the blaze, which was stoked by 60 mph winds. Johnson was charged earlier this month with five counts of murder and five counts of arson.

Only one of the victims, 60-year-old Raymond Davis, has been identified so far, said aWayne County spokesman Ryan Bridges. The manner and cause of Davis’ death is pending further investigation into the incident, Bridges said.

The fire is believed to have stemmed from an argument between Johnson and another man, but it was unclear what the dispute was about.

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Associated Press contributed