Lamb’s first court-appointed attorney, Robert Qucsai III, entered not guilty pleas to the charges and requested Judge Charles Pater release Lamb so he could work. Qucsai had said Lamb would be living at Hope House, had a job lined up and would go to treatment.
But Pater noted a pre-trial services officer indicated that Hope House directors said Lamb would not be permitted to return because of the pending charges. The judge ruled the bond would remain the same, noting the seriousness of the charges and Lamb’s lack of a permanent address.
Lamb was back in court Tuesday, and a pre-trial hearing was set for Aug. 18.
During a preliminary hearing in January, Middletown Detective Steve Winters said Lamb, who is homeless, told him he started the fire. When he walked away to get more wood, his bedding caught fire, and he fled the scene in the early morning on New Year’s Day.
The fire at the abandoned building burned for days costcost the city an estimated $130,000 in demolition costs and firefighter overtime. The 11-acre site of 61 parcels had an estimated 400,000 to 600,000 square feet of space.