ELKHORN

A town of Delavan man who faces several arson charges is competent to assist with his own defense, a Walworth County judge ruled Wednesday.

The lawyer for Daniel J. Zitella argued that his client was not competent and was not likely to become competent, according to online court records. Judge Phillip Koss disagreed.

Zitella is charged with committing arson in December 2016 and in August and December 2018.

He is accused of setting fires at town of Delavan homes and setting a lawnmower and a Jet Ski on fire.

While Zitella was released on bond, prosecutors charged him with setting fire to a shed next to his home on Christmas morning 2018. He allegedly told first responders the charges against him should be dropped because “it happened to me, too,” according to the criminal complaint.

In March, he pleaded not guilty by mental disease or defect.

Wednesday’s competency hearing was a continuation of another hearing from Sept. 4.

Zitella is set to appear for a status conference at 1:15 p.m. Oct. 15.