LIMA — A man who set a fire that destroyed a downtown Lima landmark earlier this year on Tuesday waived his constitutional right to a speedy trial.
A jury trial for Jeffrey England, 40, has been tentatively scheduled for Nov. 9. England has been charged with two counts of attempted murder as well as arson and two counts of aggravated arson for starting a fire at a vacant building in downtown Lima.
The June 23 fire destroyed a structure at 122 N. Elizabeth St. that once housed the Roxy Food & Spirits establishment. Michael Adkins and Matthew Peddicord were reportedly inside the building at the time, and a grand jury determined that England “did purposely attempt to cause the death” of the two men, who like England reportedly were living in the abandoned structure at the time.
England first told investigators he started the fire accidentally when he failed to extinguish a cigarette. Later he changed his story and said he hoped to kill himself in the blaze. Eventually England told detectives he set fire to a blanket and then a mattress in an attempt to kill the two men inside the building.
According to police, England was squatting in the vacant building, living there illegally with Adkins and Peddicord. After England was seen leaving the scene of the fire, the homeless man reportedly walked into the Lima Police Department and confessed to starting the blaze.
The building was a total loss, and the city of Lima immediately razed the structure.