Suspected serial arsonist refuses to go to court

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Deputies with the Lake County Sheriff's Office say a man accused in a string of fires has gotten a lawyer and isn't saying much to investigators.

An alleged serial arsonist is now behind bars, refusing to go before a judge on Friday.

"The State vs James A. Bennett. He's not present in the courtroom."

James Bennett, 48, is accused of setting at least four fires over nine days in Umatilla, causing fear all over the community.  In video taken at Sunoco, deputies say Bennett is wearing the same shirt, also seen on social media pictures..  

Investigators say they finally got the break, when Bennett allegedly bragged about torching car belonging to law enforcement officers.

Sheriff's Office spokesperson John Herrell said, "He provided us information that Bennett gave to him, that only a suspect would know."Experts who study arsonists and other criminals say, arsonists typically like to talk about their cirmes and they get a thrill out of the chase.

A short drive from the fires is Bennett's home in Altoona. Outside is a warning to visitors, showing the barrel of a gun.

"Apprehensive, a little scary that he lives so close anyone who does anything like that," said neighbor Lisa Boggs.  "Something's just not right with him. Hope he gets the help he needs.  It's a shock because this is an awesome neighborhood. I've lived here 30 years."

Bennett is expected to go before a judge on May 13.