Olathe man charged with attempting to kill rescuers - FOX Carolina 21

Olathe man charged with attempting to kill rescuers

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William J. Outhet Jr., 58, faces one count each of arson and attempted first-degree murder in Johnson County District Court. William J. Outhet Jr., 58, faces one count each of arson and attempted first-degree murder in Johnson County District Court.
OLATHE, KS (KCTV/AP) -

An Olathe man has been charged with setting fire to his roommate's home and then attempting to kill the emergency workers who rescued him.

William J. Outhet Jr., 58, faces one count each of arson and attempted first-degree murder in Johnson County District Court.

During a hearing Monday, his bond was set at $1 million. Conditions of being freed include that he "follow mental health recommendations, including taking of medication as prescribed."

Outhet wasn't able to attend the hearing because he was hospitalized. No one else was injured in the Feb. 1 incident. According to court documents, Outhet "staged" firearms around an Olathe home and fired a shotgun. Emergency responders were listed as the intended victims.

Ultimately, firefighters pulled Outhet from the home and rushed him to a hospital.

Outhet is being represented by the Johnson County Public Defender's Office. The office phone rang unanswered Tuesday.

"Clearly from the charges, his intent was to harm first responders," said Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe, who declined to discuss details of the investigation.

Howe said it was fortunate that no first responders were injured.

"It could have been really bad," he said.

Spokesmen for the Olathe police and fire departments, which conducted a joint investigation, also said they could not comment.

Shannon Laber, who said she was Outhet's former girlfriend, said Outhet was "doing better" physically and was recovering.

The homeowner and Outhet's roommate, Larry Nickelson, said investigators told him Outhet fired before rescuers even arrived.

"He could have been trying to get someone's attention. He was trapped under something and couldn't get help. The gun was in the room. He thought that would get them to where his location was," Laber said.

She said what the charges call "staged" firearms were essentially a pile of them.

"He might have been trying to get them out because he was attached. He loved the guns, just like the roommate and I. They were part of the family because they've been passed down," said Outhet's daughter, Jamie Outhet.

Outhet's next court appearance is scheduled for March 7.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  and The Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

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