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Mexia library arson suspect arrested for prior arson, deemed incompetent to stand trial

Posted at 10:17 PM, Oct 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 01:36:55-04

MEXIA, TX — The man accused of setting fire to the Gibbs Memorial Library in Mexia was previously arrested for arson, but deemed incompetent to stand trial.

When a house on one of Mexia's busiest streets went up in flames in 2011, it stopped traffic.

Twenty six-year-old Martin Anthony Ogeda was the prime suspect in the case.

"He wasn't a bad person, he was actually pretty calm out there," said Jennifer Holt, who worked with Ogeda at the Mexia State Supported Living Center.

Ogeda was sent to live at the Mexia State Supported Living Center in 2011, and is a current resident.

"Did he seem like the kind that would start fires for no reason?" asked 25 News reporter Dennis Turner.

"Well, I kinda knew him a little before then, so yeah, he would burn down. He burned down a couple of houses that I know of," responded Holt.

People in Limestone County said Martin Ogeda had a reputation in Mexia stretching back to his childhood, most of it involved fire.

Police never arrested Ogeda for the house fire on McKinney Street. They did, however, arrest him in another incident weeks later.

That led to an indictment on an arson charge and court case, which was dismissed when an expert deemed him incompetent to stand trial.

"Did he seem remorseful at all?" asked Turner.

"No, not really, not at all," responded Holt.

"Does that bother you?" questioned Turner.

"Yes it does, because if you've got somebody running around town burning houses, you never know if it's gonna be yours," said Holt.

A few years later, Ogeda landed in court again, this time for burglary. That case was also dismissed when Ogeda was deemed incompetent to stand trial, and sent back to the Mexia State Supported Living Center.

But Jennifer Holt said he knows better.

"Exactly. He knows right from wrong. Do I think he'll get off this time? No. He shouldn't to be honest. So he is competent I believe he is,"said Holt.

Just last year a team of experts at Mexia deemed him marginally competent.

Legal experts tell us Ogeda will not get any "special treatment" in court due to his status at the living center. They said the law treats defendants equally.