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Hearing continued for Pa. man charged in attempted homicide

September 26, 2007

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Shippensburg, Pa., man charged with attempted homicide and arson in an August fire in Southampton Township had his preliminary hearing continued so that a mental evaluation can be performed, according to the Franklin County District Attorney's Office.

Laverne Z. Zimmerman, 22, of 1892 Mainesville Road, was charged in an Aug. 31 fire at the home of Reuben and Minerva Oberhotzer of 2359 Olde Scotland Road, according to Pennsylvania State Police. Ivan Horst also was in the house at the time of the fire, police said.

Police said the Oberhotzers found a rambling letter with sexual and religious references in their mailbox earlier on the day of the fire. Reuben Oberhotzer told police he had spoken with Zimmerman's father, who indicated his son might have been involved in setting the fire, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

When questioned by police Sept. 1, Zimmerman said he had just learned about the fire, the affidavit stated. However, the affidavit stated that no one had told him about the fire before he made that statement.

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Zimmerman's family turned over the clothes he was wearing Aug. 31, police said.

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