A Box Elder man facing arson and reckless burning charges was suffering from mental illness. That's according to Seventh Circuit Judge Janine Kern who presided over the sentencing hearing for 29-year-old Joseph Hodges.
Hodges previously pled guilty by reason of insanity for a house fire that he set in October. His girlfriend and her ex-husband were still inside.
After the testimony of two doctors, Judge Kern concluded he suffers from a mental illness that deprived him of reason and he was incapable of knowing the wrongfulness of his act.
Doctors say at the time of the incident Hodges was suicidal. They say he suffers from bipolar disorder, alcohol abuse, and border line personality disorder.
Hodges will now undergo treatment at the Health and Human Services Center in Yankton.