3rd Man Convicted Of Starting Colby Fire
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A third man was convicted Thursday of accidentally causing the 1,900-acre Colby wildfire after setting an illegal campfire in the Glendora Hills.
In January, the blaze destroyed five homes and 17 others near the Angeles National Forest and injured six people, five of whom were firefighters, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It also destroyed 10 outbuildings.
Of the four charges Jonathan Jarrell was facing, the jury convicted him of two, a felony count of building an illegal campfire on federal land and a misdemeanor count of causing trees, brush and grass in the forest to burn without a permit.
Judge George H. Wu declared a mistrial on the other two charges after the jury deadlocked on their decision.
Jarrell, who had moved to the Los Angeles area not long before the wildfire, faces up to 5 1/2 years in federal prison at sentencing on July 31.
Last week, his co-defendants, 22-year-old Clifford Henry Jr. and 21-year-old Steven Robert Aguirre were each found guilty of all counts. They face up to 6 1/2 years each when sentenced Aug. 4.
Jarrell’s case was separated based on statements he made to investigators that implicated his co-defendants.
The three friends had hiked up the Colby Trail the night of Jan. 15 and set an illegal campfire. Santa Ana winds carried some embers and ignited nearby brush. When the men were unable to put out the flames they fled.
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