RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBS) — The man accused of setting the 2003 Old Fire, which caused $170 million in property losses and killed five people, was sentenced this week to three life sentences in a jailhouse sodomy case, according to reports.

Rickie Lee Fowler, who has not yet been tried on the arson charges, was sentenced Monday to three terms of 25 years to life in state prison after being found guilty in February of three felony counts of sodomy by force on another inmate, the San Bernardino Sun reported. The incidents happened in August 2010.

Fowler, 30, is accused of starting the devastating Old Fire in the San Bernardino Mountains in 2003. That fire started on Oct. 25, 2003 and burned for nine days, scorching more than 91,000 acres and damaging 1, 003 homes. Fowler was also charged for murder for the deaths of five people who died from heart attacks in the fire zone.

Prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty in the Old Fire case, which is scheduled to go to trial on June 4.


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