Wolfel competent to stand trial for arson

RIDGWAY – Earlier this month Elk County President Judge Richard A. Masson handed down a ruling that Philip Bradley Wolfel, 22, of 5448 Rasselas Rd., Wilcox, is competent to stand trial on charges related to his allegedly setting fire to a residence located at 204 Depot St., Ridgway, on Aug. 12, 2010. Wolfel faces a number of charges related to the incident: a first-degree felony charge of arson-danger of death or bodily injury; two first-degree felony charges of arson-inhabited building or structure; six first-degree felony charges of criminal attempt-criminal homicide; two second-degree felony charges of arson endangering property-reckless endangerment of inhabited buildings; two third-degree felony charges of reckless burning or exploding-places property having value that exceeds $5,000 or automobile, place; a second-degree felony charge of causing catastrophe; two third-degree felony charges of criminal mischief/damage property intent, reckless or negligence; a third-degree felony charge of criminal mischief-damage property; and a second-degree misdemeanor charge of recklessly endangering another person. A hearing regarding Wolfel's competency to stand trial was held in the main courtroom of the Elk County Courthouse on Friday, April 1 at 11:30 a.m. At that time, Wolfel indicated that he understood the charges which were filed against him and and he believed himself to be capable of assisting with his own defense. During that hearing, Wolfel's attorney, Shawn McMahon, also offered as Defense Exhibit 1 an evaluation of Wolfel which had been completed by the Warren State Hospital.Wolfel is currently being held in the Elk County Prison and a conference in the matter is scheduled to be held before Judge Masson at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 2 during the county's monthly return day session.