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Arsonist Draws Prison Term

November 20, 1986

A transient accused of setting a fire that destroyed 110 acres in Angeles National Forest has been sentenced to six months in prison and five years' probation.

David Earl McCarthy, 32, pleaded no contest before Superior Court Judge Coleman A. Swart to felony arson in a July 29 fire near Mt. Wilson.

Testimony at a preliminary hearing placed McCarthy near the fire's site and showed that he had been living in a nearby campground for at least several days.

McCarthy originally had been scheduled to stand trial, but Swart agreed to accept the no-contest plea because of a defense argument that the evidence against McCarthy was insufficient and circumstantial.

McCarthy is also wanted by North Carolina authorities in connection with a 1976 fire there and will remain in custody until those charges are resolved, according to the U. S. Forest Service.

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