Taft man accused of starting fires in Taft Heights and on Fifth Street

A mental competency hearing has been ordered for a Taft man now facing arson charges in connection with two recent fires in Taft.

Travis Wesley Derrick, 34, first arrested on Oct. 21 in connection with a structure fire in Taft Heights, was booked into Kern County Jail early Monday morning on new arson counts, reportedly in connection with a trash can fire in the 200 block of Fifth Street Sunday night.

Derrick, who is being held on $180,000 total bail for the two arson arrests plus a drug charge and hit-and-run charge in Bakersfield, appeared in Kern County Superior Court on Wednesday.
The mental competency hearing will be held on Dec. 13 after a report is compiled on his fitness to stand trial.

Derrick previously served a four-year state prison sentence after a 2004 arson conviction in Taft.