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Feb 9, 12:23 AM EST

Teen accused of starting church fire enters insanity plea


HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) -- The attorney for a 16-year-old boy charged in a fire that extensively damaged a southwestern Ohio church has entered a denial of the charges and an insanity plea for the teenager.

The boy is charged in Butler County Juvenile Court with aggravated arson, breaking and entering and theft for allegedly starting the Jan. 22 fire at Tytus Avenue First Church of God in Middletown. The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News (http://bit.ly/2lse0Th ) reports a judge on Wednesday ordered an evaluation to determine the teen's competency to stand trial and his mental state at the time of the alleged crimes.

Fire officials said the blaze damaged a large portion of the church, with damages estimated at around $450,000.

No injuries to people were reported, but police say a 40-year-old box turtle died inside church offices.

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