SOMERVILLE, NJ – A Somerville man charged with aggravated arson and attempted murder in connection with a fire at a home on Starview Drive in Hillsborough last month has been detained by the court following a pretrial detention hearing before Superior Court Judge Peter J. Tober.
Patrick M. Hammond, 34, a resident of Somerville, appeared with his counsel on Friday, Jan. 4 in regard to the state’s motion for Pretrial Detention, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
Following the hearing, Tober entered an order granting the State’s motion to detain Hammond pre-trial. Hammond has been in custody and lodged in the Somerset County Jail since Dec. 30. He will remain in custody until further order of the court and is not free on pretrial release.
Hammond was arrested one hour after the fire was reported and subsequently charged with aggravated arson, second degree and attempted murder, first degree in connection with the fire which displaced eight residents. There were no injuries or deaths. The eight residents inside the home were awakened by a neighbor who saw the smoke coming from the house. The fire was called in at 12:40 a.m., according to Chief of County Detectives John W. Fodor, and Hillsborough Township Chief of Police Darren Powell.
The State was jointly represented at the hearing by Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Walsh and Assistant Prosecutor Frank P. Kolodzieski, II.