Judge to decide whether suspected arsonist can stand trial

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A judge in White River Junction will have to decide whether an accused arsonist who says she has multiple personality disorder is too disturbed to be tried in a pair of fires last year.

Fifty-year-old Cheryle Potwin is accused of setting fires in Woodstock and Hartland, but there’s disagreement about whether she can understand the charges against her and help her lawyer defend her against them.

In court yesterday, a psychiatrist testifying for the state said she suffers from multiple personality disorder, alright, but that she embellishes and lies when it suits her and that she’s competent to stand trial.

The hearing was forced because of conflicting opinions about Potwin’s competency.

Potwin’s lawyer contends she’s not competent and he has an expert witness that will testify to that effect. The hearing resumes today in Vermont District Court.

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