Brocton man to be evaluated after setting fire in Plymouth

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October 5, 2010, 8:04 am

(NECN: Tom Langford - Plymouth, Mass.) - James Dix stood quietly in a Plymouth, Massachusetts courtroom on Tuesday, as a prosecutor described his attempt to get himself put in jail.

He says, it began Monday when he visited with his probation officer, Martin Flynn at an office in Plymouth and tried to get locked up.
  David Belcher a prosecutor stated, "the defendant said he wanted to be incarcerated for four alleged violations to his probation.  He didn't believe Flynn was going to incarcerate him for the violations.  Mr Dix stated, do I have to start a fire and be standing right there, in order to get your attention?"

And the prosecutor say, later that night, he did just that.

"He stated that he went to the shell gas station, bought $2.50 worth of  gasoline.  He went back to the federal probation office, he broke a window, he poured the gasoline, the threw the tank in, he lit a napkin and he torched the building."

Then he stuck around and waited for police to arrive.

"James Dix approached the officer and said, 'I did this.' And nodded his head toward the fire.  As he stated this, he reached into his pocket and handed the officer his car keys.  The police officer asked him, 'you did this?'  he said, 'yes I did.'"

Police say, the defense lawyer seemed like a cry for help.

His defense lawyer says that Dix is diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.

Charlotte Tilden a defense lawyer stated, "he tells me that he has not been taking his medication and from speaking to him, I believe he could benefit from an… … evaluation. I do have concerns about his well being."

NECN reporter Tom Langford has more from Plymouth, Mass.

Tags: massachusetts, Fire, Brockton, arson , Plymouth, James Dix, government probation office, Martin Flynn
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