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The Region | IN BRIEF / SAN CLEMENTE

Boy Pleads Not Guilty to Starting Brush Fire

January 12, 2002|From Times Staff Reports

A 12-year-old Texas boy who stands accused of starting a brush fire that destroyed six homes this summer in San Clemente pleaded innocent Friday during an arraignment in Juvenile Court.

The boy was released into his father's custody and will return to his home in El Paso. He must appear in Orange County for a hearing on Feb. 8.

The boy faces three counts of arson of an inhabited structure and one count of arson of a forest. The charges include enhancements of destroying property worth more than $2.5 million.

The charges stem from an Aug. 1 fire that raged through Trafalgar Canyon and caused $4 million in property damage.

Authorities say the boy was tossing matches into brush at the bottom of the canyon because he wanted to see a fire grow.

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