A Los Angeles man was recently arrested after investigators witnessed him setting a mobile home afire. KDAF-TV reported that the suspect was under surveillance since July 17 following a string of 20 arson attacks since that date, according to Los Angeles police officials. Investigators sought to connect the suspect to the arson attacks, and he may be charged for those attacks. Carports, motor homes and cars were destroyed in those fires, but no one was hurt.
Investigators were also reviewing military records to see if the suspect, a former U.S. Marine, was the same arsonist convicted in 2001 for setting bars and restaurants afire in Japan while he was stationed there. The suspect in that case was convicted and sentenced to a five-year jail term. His age and name matched the suspect’s.
The suspect was booked for arson in connection with the mobile home fire and was being held on $250,000 bail.
In Colorado, this man would be facing multiple Class 4 felony charges if he is convicted of all of the arson attacks in this scenario. A Colorado criminal defense attorney could try to get his charges reduced, but it would be an uphill battle considering the suspect is a repeat offender and may already have a previous conviction for the same offense. The criminal defense attorney would advise his client of low likelihood of being granted leniency in this case and prepare him for possibility of a very long prison term.
The fact that the suspect has a repeated pattern of starting fires points to a possible mental or psychological problem that the defense attorney may try to use to establish some type of insanity defense, but that’s better said than done.