Banning Man Pleads Not Guilty To Setting 9 Fires
RIVERSIDE (AP) — A Southern California man who was convicted of arson 25 years ago has pleaded not guilty to setting nine more fires — including one that damaged two homes.
Steven Rutherford of Banning entered pleas Tuesday to 13 felony charges. He faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors allege that from September of 2011 through last June, Rutherford set eight fires in Riverside County, ranging in size from two to 55 acres.
He also allegedly set a 534-acre blaze last June in San Bernardino County that damaged two homes.
Rutherford was arrested the day of that blaze. Investigators say they linked him to the arson series through surveillance video and GPS trackers placed on his cars.
The 48-year-old Rutherford has a 1989 arson conviction.
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