Hearing for Man Accused of Setting Ballot Box on Fire

The man charged with setting fire to a Copley Square ballot box was ordered held without bail late yesterday, pending the outcome of a dangerousness hearing on Friday. 

In Boston Municipal Court Monday afternoon, prior to moving to revoke Worldly Armand’s bail in another open case, the Commonwealth requested that the defendant’s counsel be permitted to request a mental health evaluation for his client. Judge Mark Hart Summerville denied the Commonwealth’s request.

The Commonwealth then moved to revoke the bail in the open case and requested a dangerousness hearing.  Later in the afternoon, a court clinician attempted to speak with the defendant to conduct a competency evaluation. The defendant, however, refused to speak with the clinician. When the clinician reported this meeting to the court, Judge Summerville declined to send the defendant to Bridgewater for further evaluation.

Armand, 39, who provided the address of a Boston homeless shelter at booking, will have a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Friday, October 30, 2020.  Judge Summerville additionally allowed a motion by prosecutors to revoke Armand’s bail for 60 days in an open case out of Malden District Court, where he is charged with a similar arson crime.

Members of the Boston Police and Fire departments responded to the area of 700 Boylston Street shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday, October 25, to find smoke coming from a ballot box.  Prosecutors told the court that the incident was captured by security camera. Images of the individual who placed burning material inside the ballot box were distributed within the Boston Police Department, and officers on patrol in the Back Bay located Armand wearing the same distinctive clothing worn by the alleged arsonist. Armand was placed under arrest on a warrant out of Ipswich District Court charging receiving stolen property. 

“Although this individual appears to be emotionally disturbed without a deliberate or specific intent to intimidate or interfere with the voting process, the ability to vote without interference is central to our democracy.  No matter the intent of Armand when he set fire to these ballots, his actions strike a nerve in our society at a time of nearly unprecedented political divisiveness. The destruction of ballots is simply unacceptable,” District Attorney Rachael Rollins said. 

Any voter concerned that their ballot may have been damaged or destroyed in the incident is urged to contact the City of Boston Election Department at 617-635-8683 or [email protected].

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