Arson suspect pleads not guilty

By | November 2, 2006

Arson suspect pleads not guilty

A man arrested on charges of setting two wildfires this summer is also considered a person of interest in the Southern California mountain fire that claimed the lives of five firefighters.Raymond Lee Oyler, 36, was arrested Tuesday at his mother’s home in Banning on two counts of arson linked to June wildfires in the Banning Pass area and two counts of possessing fire-making materials, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. – boston

…Oyler now faces 11 counts of arson and five counts of murder for the deaths of five firefighters in the Esperanza fire near Cabazon. If convicted, Oyler could get life in prison or the death penalty if the district decides to seek it. – kesq

Fire-making materials? Matches? What’s the evidence against this 36 year old car mechanic?

Oyler, [minor criminal record but no arson convictions] who was arrested on Tuesday in connection with two fires set earlier this year, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that he was innocent.”I haven’t done anything with any fires. Fires hurt people,” Oyler told the paper. “All I know is I didn’t do this and they’re trying to pin this on me. They need to find the real person.” – reuters

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