Wareham man charged with setting house on fire with woman inside held without bail

Apr 17, 2018

A 40-year-old East Wareham man will remain behind bars, held without bail, after a judge deemed him “dangerous” in the wake of a house fire he allegedly started after attacking a woman.

Mondel Johnson, of 18 Baker Road, is charged with striking a woman with a hammer, dousing her in fluid and then setting the home at 36 Restful Lane on fire early on March 29.

On April 13, he was in Wareham District Court for a dangerousness hearing. The hearing determined whether or not Johnson posed a substantial risk of committing a felony using force. As a result, he will be held no longer than 120 days at the Plymouth County House of Correction.

According to court documents, Johnson and the woman, who police did not identify, entered the home a few hours after midnight to use drugs. The home, which had been condemned weeks earlier due to storm damage, was unoccupied.

Prosecutors said the woman asked Johnson to use his cell phone for light, but he refused. He then allegedly attacked her with a hammer, doused her with what she believed to be cooking oil, kicked her until she was unconscious and then set the house on fire.

"(The victim) stated the male began lighting pieces of newspaper and began throwing them at her," court documents stated.

Prosecutors said the woman ran out of the house after waking up and sought help. The victim was then taken to Tobey Hospital for treatment and released. For several hours after the fire, authorities were unsure of the woman's whereabouts and searched the charred remains of the house.

Johnson is charged with: attempted murder, arson of a dwelling (house) and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Johnson will appear again in Wareham District Court on May 8 for a probable cause hearing, according to Plymouth County District Attorney spokeswoman Beth Stone.