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Hanover firestarter screams in court

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MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WTVR) - The Hanover teenager who faces 40 years in prison for setting fires in the King’s Charter subdivision entered court screaming and yelling Monday.

Jacob Spiro, 18, could be heard as deputies led him into court from a holding cell. Spiro's lawyer said the teenager has been under a doctor's care for extreme anxiety. He said Spiro's condition has worsened as today's sentencing date due near.

Spiro, who was not sentenced as a result of the outburst, was charged with contempt of court. In addition to charging Spiro with contempt, the judge appointed an independent doctor to examine Spiro to determine if he is fit to be sentenced.

That decision is expected to come during a Feb. 10 hearing.

In July, Spiro pleaded guilty to three felony arson charges in connection to fires set last year in the King’s Charter subdivision.

No one was seriously injured in the fires, but one caused significant damage to the neighborhood’s pool and clubhouse.


  • Glen Allen

    Anxiety Disorder causes panic attacks, which can be quite brutal. This condition is generally treatable with proper medication and therapy, I hope he get both. For the record, I don’t think Anxiety Disorder contributed to his fire starting adventures, but they do need to get him under control so that he can be sentenced for the horrible crimes he has committed.

  • jeroldg

    please,panic attack?come up with a disorder and I will show you a drug maker and dr who make a fortune off it.If I was facing 40 years I would panic also.and yes he will get both alright off our dime,

    • scars

      Anxiety disorders are real. I’m not so certain that it is real in this case as I think he may be trying to play the court to prepare for an insanity defense … but panic attacks are awful things to deal with and a true anxiety disorder causes panic even in situations where you shouldn’t feel it. While it is fine to question whether this guy was actually having a panic attack or not, it is ignorant to claim that a panic attack is not a real medical issue.

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