- Special Sections
Self-confessed Schulman Grove Visitors Center arsonist John Thomas Christiana is preparing to serve as his own counsel in Inyo County Superior Court.
Christiana recently appealed court orders that he is incompetent to stand trial and that he be subject to involuntarily administration of anti-psychotic medication. On Dec. 10, the court rejected the first contention but reversed the order authorizing the medication. There is no word of when Christiana will be standing trial.
Christiana said in an interview in 2009 with The Inyo Register that he believes the U.S. government has implanted a chip within his body. He said the chip causes pain and discomfort which led him to lash out against perceived governmental installations, i.e., the research station and visitors center operated within and on federal lands.
Experts in Inyo County had deemed Christiana incompetent to stand trial due to his impaired mental state, but he was found competent in Mono County.
Christiana has already been charged and has completed his sentence in Mono County for vandalizing the UC California White Mountain Research Station facility in September 2008.
In Inyo, he faces charges of auto theft, grand theft, two counts of receiving stolen property, vandalism, possession of a firearm, the lone misdemeanor charge of carrying a loaded firearm, and felony arson of a structure or property on Forest Service land carried out during the summer of 2008.
Inyo County has also requested Christiana be sent to a mental hospital for a maximum of three years.
Christiana appealed that order and others but the court only granted Christiana the appeal on the medications. According to court documents, the court allowed the appeal based on the fact that the mental health experts did not list specific dosages or side-effects of unspecified drugs.