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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1994 | MATT LAIT and MARK PLATTE, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The credibility of arson suspect Jose Soto Martinez has been so undermined by his own lies that his entire confession should be thrown out and at least two of the three remaining arson charges against him should be dropped, his defense attorney said Friday. Earlier this week, the district attorney was forced to dismiss the most serious charge against Martinez--that he set last year's Laguna Beach firestorm--after discovering that his confession to that blaze was a twisted fantasy.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 1994 | ANNA CEKOLA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a surprise end to a bizarre case, a man who once confessed to setting the 1993 Laguna Beach fire was sentenced to eight years in prison after unexpectedly pleading guilty to setting three small fires in Fullerton. Jaime Saille Higuera, also known as Jose Soto Martinez, was in the middle a preliminary hearing Thursday to determine if he should stand trial on arson charges when he decided during the lunch break to plead guilty. Municipal Court Judge James O.
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NEWS
October 5, 1994 | MARK PLATTE and MATT LAIT, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Confident that charges against accused Laguna Beach arsonist Jose Soto Martinez will not stand up in court, the Orange County public defender's office said Tuesday that it would not bother sending its own investigators to a Mexican prison where Martinez was held at the time of the firestorm. Prosecutors declined to discuss the case, saying only that it is still under investigation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 1994 | GREG HERNANDEZ
One-time Laguna Beach arson suspect Jose Soto Martinez, who still faces charges that he started three small fires in Fullerton, was in court again Thursday, where a judge set his pretrial hearing for Dec. 1. Earlier this month, the district attorney's office withdrew a charge that Martinez, 26, set last year's Laguna Beach firestorm. Days after filing that charge, prosecutors learned that Martinez's confession was bogus and that he had been in a Mexican jail when the fire began. Deputy Dist.
NEWS
October 1, 1994 | MATT LAIT MARK PLATTE and JEFF BRAZIL, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A 26-year-old transient was charged with arson Friday after telling investigators he started the $528-million Laguna Beach fire last October in an effort to commune with a demon. Jose Soto Martinez, who authorities said confessed to sparking the Oct. 27 fire after being arrested for lighting three small fires in Fullerton, was being held without bail in the Orange County Jail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 1994 | ANNA CEKOLA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a surprise end to a bizarre case, a man who once confessed to setting the 1993 Laguna Beach fire was sentenced to eight years in prison after unexpectedly pleading guilty to setting three small fires in Fullerton. Jaime Saille Higuera, also known as Jose Soto Martinez, was in the middle a preliminary hearing Thursday to determine if he should stand trial on arson charges when he decided during the lunch break to plead guilty. Municipal Court Judge James O.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 1994 | GREG HERNANDEZ
One-time Laguna Beach arson suspect Jose Soto Martinez, who still faces charges that he started three small fires in Fullerton, was in court again Thursday, where a judge set his pretrial hearing for Dec. 1. Earlier this month, the district attorney's office withdrew a charge that Martinez, 26, set last year's Laguna Beach firestorm. Days after filing that charge, prosecutors learned that Martinez's confession was bogus and that he had been in a Mexican jail when the fire began. Deputy Dist.
NEWS
October 1, 1994 | MARK PLATTE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The man now charged with igniting one of California's worst wildfires meekly emerged from the shrubbery behind an apartment complex here two weeks ago, readily confessed to setting three fires that day, and held his head in his hands, witnesses said. "He was like a lamb," said Tony Haynes, the manager of the 42-unit apartment complex where one of the three fires was set. "It was almost like he wanted to get caught."
NEWS
October 5, 1994 | MARK PLATTE and MATT LAIT, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Confident that charges accusing Jose Soto Martinez of setting the Laguna Beach fire will not stand up in court, the Orange County public defender's office said Tuesday that it wouldn't bother sending its own investigators to a Mexican prison where Martinez was reportedly held at the time of the 1993 firestorm. Prosecutors declined to discuss the case in any detail, saying only that it was still under investigation.
NEWS
October 3, 1994 | GREG HERNANDEZ and KEN ELLINGWOOD, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Law enforcement officials remained convinced Sunday that Jose Soto Martinez set the devastating Laguna Beach fire, despite his family's insistence and statements from a prison official that Martinez may have been in a Mexican jail at the time. Chief Orange County Assistant Dist. Atty. Maury Evans said his department is investigating the family's claim but, "We feel at this time, with the evidence that we have, that we have our arsonist.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 1994 | MATT LAIT and MARK PLATTE, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The credibility of arson suspect Jose Soto Martinez has been so undermined by his own lies that his entire confession should be thrown out and at least two of the three remaining arson charges against him should be dropped, his defense attorney said Friday. Earlier this week, the district attorney was forced to dismiss the most serious charge against Martinez--that he set last year's Laguna Beach firestorm--after discovering that his confession to that blaze was a twisted fantasy.
NEWS
October 5, 1994 | MARK PLATTE and MATT LAIT, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Confident that charges accusing Jose Soto Martinez of setting the Laguna Beach fire will not stand up in court, the Orange County public defender's office said Tuesday that it wouldn't bother sending its own investigators to a Mexican prison where Martinez was reportedly held at the time of the 1993 firestorm. Prosecutors declined to discuss the case in any detail, saying only that it was still under investigation.
NEWS
October 5, 1994 | MARK PLATTE and MATT LAIT, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Confident that charges against accused Laguna Beach arsonist Jose Soto Martinez will not stand up in court, the Orange County public defender's office said Tuesday that it would not bother sending its own investigators to a Mexican prison where Martinez was held at the time of the firestorm. Prosecutors declined to discuss the case, saying only that it is still under investigation.
NEWS
October 1, 1994 | MARK PLATTE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The man now charged with igniting one of California's worst wildfires meekly emerged from the shrubbery behind an apartment complex here two weeks ago, readily confessed to setting three fires that day, and held his head in his hands, witnesses said. "He was like a lamb," said Tony Haynes, the manager of the 42-unit apartment complex where one of the three fires was set. "It was almost like he wanted to get caught."
NEWS
October 1, 1994 | MATT LAIT MARK PLATTE and JEFF BRAZIL, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A 26-year-old transient was charged with arson Friday after telling investigators he started the $528-million Laguna Beach fire last October in an effort to commune with a demon. Jose Soto Martinez, who authorities said confessed to sparking the Oct. 27 fire after being arrested for lighting three small fires in Fullerton, was being held without bail in the Orange County Jail.
NEWS
October 4, 1994 | DOREEN CARVAJAL and MATT LAIT, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
A 26-year-old man was arraigned Monday on charges of setting last year's devastating Laguna Beach fire, but a few hours before the proceeding Orange County investigators had acknowledged to a Mexican prison warden that they believe the man was imprisoned in Mexico when the fire was set.
NEWS
October 4, 1994 | DOREEN CARVAJAL and MATT LAIT, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Orange County district attorney's office investigators on Monday apparently confirmed that the man accused of setting last year's devastating Laguna Beach fire was confined in a Mexican prison 1,200 miles away at the time, the prison's warden said.
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