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Friday, September 28, 2012

Death Sentence Verdict Old Fire Arsonist

 Arsonist Rickie Lee Fowler, Sentenced to Death in 2003 Old Fire Arson Murder Trial

 Picture shows the Old Fire jumping Highway 18
This photo, shows the Old Fire jumping Highway 18
 Credit: Troy C. Whitman Cypress, Ca.(1)
The Old Fire was a human-caused wildfire that burned out of control through a large area of  the San Bernardino Mountains, in San Bernardino County of southern California., in October 2003. 

The Old Fire was one of 15 wildfires throughout Southern California that month, and briefly the largest until the Cedar Fire overtook it and broke the state's wildfire size record which became known as the "2003 Firestorm" and the "Fire Siege of 2003.

A jury Friday recommended death for Rickie Lee Fowler, an arsonist convicted of murder in the deaths of five men who suffered heart attacks after the 2003 Old Fire evacuation in the foothills above San Bernardino.

Rickie Lee Fowler Convicted Murder By Arson
Rickie Lee Fowler appears for trial , July 9, 2012, at the San Bernardino Superior Court House

Credit: (AP Photo/The Sun, LaFonzo Carter)

Wikipedia Snip(2): In 2009, Rickie Lee Fowler was charged with igniting the Old Fire. Authorities believed that he was a passenger in a vehicle that was seen leaving the area where the fire started; the driver of the van, Martin David Valdez, Jr., died of a gunshot wound in 2006. A grand jury indicted Fowler October 19, 2009, with one count of arson of an inhabited structure, one count of aggravated arson, and five counts of murder.
On January 21, 2010, the San Bernardino County prosecutor announced that he would seek the death penalty.[2] Fowler recanted his confession saying that he had admitted to the crime only to appease authorities so that he could be transferred to a prison closer to his mother.[3]
In September of 2011, Fowler moved to dismiss the indictment because the prosecutors had failed to present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury.[4] [5] The trial is scheduled for July 2012 in San Bernardino [6], rescheduled from January.[7] , and expected to last until November 2012. Prosecutors are charging Special Circumstances which can bring the Death Penalty.
On August 15, 2012, Fowler was convicted of five counts of murder and two counts of arson.[8]
On September 28, 2012, a jury in San Bernardino County recommended a death sentence for Rickie Lee Fowler.[9]
Old Fire Perimeter Map
Old Fire Perimeter Map
CFN - California Fire News 2012 

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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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