A 41-year-old Wenatchee Man accused of 1st Degree Arson in a 2022 fire at the city's Motel 6 is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.

Chelan County prosecuting attorneys and the lawyer for Christopher Blanchard signed an agreement and recommendation for him to be hospitalized at the Eastern or Western State Hospital, possibly for life.

In his plea arrangement, Blanchard said he would prefer the Western State Hospital, which is closer to the residence of his uncle.

Superior Court Judge Robert Jourdan signed the order acquitting Blanchard for reason of insanity Monday.

Blanchard admitted to lighting his mattress on fire in the attic of his second-floor room at the Wenatchee Motel 6 in September of 2022.

His motives stemmed from the voices he was hearing in his head at the time.

Wenatchee Police said they were familiar with Blanchard, who had a history of arson.

He was arrested back in 2020 for setting a fire at the Parkside mental health residential treatment center. He pleaded guilty in that case to 2nd Degree Arson and served a 22-month prison sentence.

Blanchard was admitted to Parkside after a 3rd Degree arson conviction in Whatcom County. He was charged in the Motel 6 fire within 48 hours after being released from prison in the Parkside case.

The current insanity agreement signed by prosecuting and defense attorneys noted Blanchard had been admitted to hospitals as many as four times a year for suicidal ideations and hallucinations, among other things, dating back to 2009.

He was first diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder while enlisted in the Navy and was dishonorably discharged as "erroneous entry."

Missing Persons in Washington State

The gallery of persons currently listed as missing on the MUPU list in Washington State. Each picture contains the missing person's name, when they went missing, and which law enforcement agency to contact if you know something that could help.

Gallery Credit: Brian Stephenson

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