Woman who set SNF fire that killed 16 still not competent to stand trial
A 36-year-old woman who admitted to starting a fire that killed 16 residents at a Connecticut skilled nursing facility in 2003 is still not competent to stand trial, her lawyer and local prosecutors agreed last week.
Leslie Andino told investigators that she started the fire at what was then the Greenwood Health Center in Hartford, CT, on accident while playing with a cigarette lighter given to her by another resident. Andino, who was 23 at the time of the fire, suffers from several mental health issues and a type of multiple sclerosis that has “irreparably eroded part of her brain,” the Hartford Courant reported.
Andino was originally deemed incompetent to stand trial in 2005 and now lives in a different nursing home, according to John Stawicki, her public defender. Stawicki told a judge on Wednesday that Andino's status remains unchanged, and that it's unlikely that she'll ever be deemed competent to stand trial. A state prosecutor agreed, adding that the state won't take any action against Andino.
“She's been on a downward slide," Stawicki said.
Should Andino ever be declared competent she would face 16 charges of arson murder, according to the Courant.
Greenwood has since been repaired and rebranded as the Park Place Health Center.