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Authorities: Man who tried to burn down Masonic lodge found not guilty by reason of insanity


MORRISTOWN, New Jersey — A man accused of breaking into a northern New Jersey masonic lodge and trying to burn it down has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

John Mowbray, of Morris Township, had faced charges including aggravated attempted arson and burglary stemming from two break-ins at the Morristown Masonic Lodge in February 2013. ( ) reports that Mowbray was initially declared incompetent to stand trial, but his condition has improved after months of treatment at a state psychiatric hospital. Authorities say the 53-year-old will return there, pending another evaluation and a court hearing on his placement.

Authorities say Mowbray believed the Masons had stolen a clock from his grandfather and killed him. He also believed the Masons and the Knights of Columbus were involved in a conspiracy to torture him.

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