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Thursday, February 9, 2012

2003 Old Fire: Defendant in wildfire arson case guilty of sodomy

Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (AP) - A suspected arsonist facing a death penalty trial for a 2003 Southern California wildfire has been convicted in a separate case of sodomizing a jail inmate.

A jury last week found 30-year-old Rickie Lee Fowler guilty on three felony counts of sodomy by force on another inmate at the San Bernardino County jail in Rancho Cucamonga. The incidents occurred in August 2010.

The San Bernardino County Sun ( http://bit.ly/wI4Wcd) says it's a three-strikes case and Fowler could be sentenced to three life terms on March 5.

Prosecutors say Fowler set the 91,000-acre Old Fire in 2003 that caused five fatal heart attacks and burned 1,000 homes. Fowler faces trial March 12 on murder and arson charges.

He's charged with five counts of murder and special circumstances that make him eligible for the death penalty. Prosecutors say the residents died of heart attacks brought on by the stress of evacuating the area.

Fowler has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Source: Link 

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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