Competency hearing delayed for man accused of setting Pulse memorial on fire

Mark Henson’s next competency hearing is scheduled for Aug. 1

The trial for a man accused of setting fire to the temporary memorial outside the Pulse nightclub has been delayed after a competency hearing.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The trial for a man accused of setting fire to the temporary memorial outside the Pulse nightclub has been delayed after a competency hearing.

On Monday, two doctors determined Mark Henson, 64, is not competent to proceed.

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The hearing came after Henson underwent a psychiatric and psychological evaluation in March.

Henson was arrested in November after Pulse survivor Orlando Torres recognized him from a surveillance video in which he purposely set a small fire at the interim Pulse Memorial, damaging 3 banners, including one which had pictures of all 49 victims of the 2016 mass shooting, and called police.

“They had him already on the radar. The officer told me they were just waiting for a warrant to be issued, which was issued,” Torres said.

Video posted on Facebook by the onePULSE Foundation showed a man in a wheelchair setting the offering wall on fire, damaging the banners. In the post, the foundation said the incident occurred on Oct. 12.

Henson faces a felony charge of criminal mischief, fire officials said Tuesday.

Another competency hearing has been set for Aug. 1.


About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.