News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Arson suspect arraigned in Northern California fire. State measure increasing arson penalty lapsed in Jan. 2014-Sacramento Bee. UPDATE, 4/9/16, Huntsman pleads guilty to starting fire, sentenced to 20 years in prison

Update: 4/9/16, "California wildfire 'selfie' arsonist get 20 years, $60 million fine," Reuters
9/19/14, "Suspect arraigned in King fire; at least four houses burn," Sacramento Bee, by Darrell Smith and Sam Stanton

"Authorities say the fire is the work of Huntsman, whom they describe as a small-time criminal offender from the Santa Cruz area who moved to El Dorado County about two years ago....

Huntsman is being held on $10 million bail, and the allegations led Pierson to make a public appeal to Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday to sign a bill on his desk that greatly enhances penalties for some arson fires.

The bill, by state Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, reinstates a measure that lapsed on Jan. 1 and allows for sentences of 10 years to life for someone convicted of aggravated arson, which is arson causing $7 million in damage, including firefighting costs.

The King fire is costing $5 million a day to fight, and while Pierson noted it could not be applied retroactively to the Huntsman case it could be an important tool for future arson prosecutions.

Shortly after Pierson sent a letter to the governor and made his remarks, Brown’s office issued an update of signed bills that included the arson measure."...

Image: "Wayne Allen Huntsman, the suspect in the arson that set off the King fire, is arraigned in El Dorado Superior Court in Placerville on Friday alongside his attorney, William Dittman." photo, Randall Benton, sac bee


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photo Randall Benton, sac bee

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