Schedule conflict could delay arson suspect’s court appearance

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala – Nicholas Hubbert is accused of allegedly setting 10 fires at businesses throughout Madison County last month. He was scheduled to have his preliminary hearing Oct 20. But it appears that the hearing could be rescheduled.

According to the attorney representing Nicholas Hubbert, there is a scheduling conflict this week. Attorney Larry Marsili told News 19 he is in court this week in another case and he is anticipates filing a motion to continue Hubbert’s hearing.

Normally during a preliminary hearing, the state presents evidence to a judge trying to show there is probable cause that the defendant is guilty. If the judge agrees, the case then heads to a grand jury.

Nicholas Hubbert is accused of setting 10 fires Saturday, September 25. The fires were started at retail stores, restaurants, and grocery stores across Madison County spanning a 17-mile area, in less than three hours’ time.

Plato’s Closet in Huntsville and Dollar General on Winchester road had to temporarily close their doors due to the amount of damage they sustained.

Hubbert was initially granted bond, but a judge ruled to have that bond revoked. The court order said. “Due to the extreme indifference to the value of human life the court finds that there is no bond sufficient to ensure the safety of the community if the defendant should be released.”

News 19 obtained court documents showing Hubbert has battled mental illness.

Last year, one of Hubbert’s family members petitioned the court in Madison County for an involuntary commitment to the custody of the Alabama Department of Mental Health, stating he had been acting erratically and out of character. In June of 2020, a judge ordered Hubbert be committed for a period of time not to exceed 150 days.

The fires in September resulted in an multi agency investigation. Law enforcement officials have identified Hubbert as the sole suspect – alleging he acted alone.

So far, a motion to continue has not been filed in the case.

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