A 19-year-old man is facing second-degree arson and burglary charges for allegedly breaking into a coffee stand in Chehalis and lighting a fire to stay warm.
Yaitt S. Murphy Voie was arrested in the early morning of March 4 after police responded to a silent alarm at Gypsy Greens in Chehalis and saw that a window on the east side of the building was open.
While processing the scene, someone approached officers and said it looked like someone had broken into a coffee stand down the street.
Officers observed smoke coming from the building — later learned to be from a fire inside the oven — and noticed that the window to the coffee stand was open and metal bars inside the window had been bent, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed in Lewis County Superior Court on March 5.
Murphy Voie was located nearby. He reportedly told officers “he was cold and was trying to find a place to get warm,” according to the affidavit. Murphy Voie allegedly admitted to trying and failing to get into the Gypsy Green before successfully getting into the coffee stand and starting a fire in the oven to get warm.
The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office estimated that over $2,500 in damage was done to the interior of the coffee stand, including smoke damage and damage to the oven and sink, as well as to food and drink items in the stand.
Murphy Voie had reportedly been living out of his car, and his family suggested that his actions may have been the result of undiagnosed mental health issues.
“We’ve been struggling with some ongoing mental health issues that are undiagnosed and obviously getting worse,” said Murphy Voie’s father to Judge J. Andrew Toynbee during his March 5 preliminary appearance.
His attorney, Rachael Tiller, disclosed with Murphy Voie’s permission that “he has been hearing voices. The voices are telling him to do things he doesn’t necessarily want to do … so he is asking for help.”
Toynbee set bail at $10,000 cash or bond “because without that, I think there is the danger that he could hurt himself,” and agreed with both parties’ request to order a mental health evaluation for Murphy Voie.
He is scheduled for a review hearing on March 18.