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Palo Altan accused of setting Fawn Fire ordered to psychiatric hospital

Alexandra Souverneva will not stand trial until restored to competency

Palo Alto resident Alexandra Souverneva has been charged in connection with the Fawn Fire in Shasta County, which sparked on Sept. 22, 2021. Courtesy Cal Fire Shasta Trinity Unit and the Shasta County Fire Department.

A Palo Alto woman who is accused of starting the devastating Fawn Fire in September has been was ordered to a psychiatric hospital until she is deemed fit to stand trial, the Shasta County District Attorney's Office said on Thursday.

Alexandra Souverneva, 30, appeared in Shasta County Superior Court on Dec. 9. In court, the California Conditional Release Program submitted a report recommending that she be submitted to the custody of the Department of State Hospitals and placed in a locked facility until she is competent.

Judge Barbara Zuniga approved the order and set a proceeding for Jan. 11 to confirm transport to a facility for competency training.

"Competency training is mental health treatment by medical professionals to assist a defendant to gain or regain the mental capacity to assist in their defense, so that they are competent to stand trial," the DA's office stated.

The Sept. 22 fire burned thousands of acres in a deep, remote canyon. Employees in the area reported seeing a woman trespassing on the property and "acting irrationally," according to a Cal Fire statement.

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Later that evening, Souverneva approached firefighters after walking out of the brush in the fire line and said she was dehydrated and needed medical treatment, according to Cal Fire.

Souverneva graduated from Palo Alto High School in 2009.

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Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Palo Altan accused of setting Fawn Fire ordered to psychiatric hospital

Alexandra Souverneva will not stand trial until restored to competency

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Dec 9, 2021, 5:24 pm

A Palo Alto woman who is accused of starting the devastating Fawn Fire in September has been was ordered to a psychiatric hospital until she is deemed fit to stand trial, the Shasta County District Attorney's Office said on Thursday.

Alexandra Souverneva, 30, appeared in Shasta County Superior Court on Dec. 9. In court, the California Conditional Release Program submitted a report recommending that she be submitted to the custody of the Department of State Hospitals and placed in a locked facility until she is competent.

Judge Barbara Zuniga approved the order and set a proceeding for Jan. 11 to confirm transport to a facility for competency training.

"Competency training is mental health treatment by medical professionals to assist a defendant to gain or regain the mental capacity to assist in their defense, so that they are competent to stand trial," the DA's office stated.

The Sept. 22 fire burned thousands of acres in a deep, remote canyon. Employees in the area reported seeing a woman trespassing on the property and "acting irrationally," according to a Cal Fire statement.

Later that evening, Souverneva approached firefighters after walking out of the brush in the fire line and said she was dehydrated and needed medical treatment, according to Cal Fire.

Souverneva graduated from Palo Alto High School in 2009.

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