The man accused of starting the King Fire near Pollock Pines in El Dorado County in September was arraigned Monday on charges stemming from a grand jury indictment.
El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson announced that Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, was indicted Dec. 3 by an El Dorado County grand jury. He is charged with arson of forest land, a felony, and with multiple special allegations of arson with aggravating factors, a District Attorney’s Office news release shows.
The fire started Sept. 13, and burned nearly 98,000 acres, a dozen homes and 68 minor structures, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The indictment includes special allegations that the fire resulted in great bodily injury to a firefighter and others, as well as property damage and other losses exceeding $6.5 million. It alleges that Huntsman set the fire “willfully, maliciously, deliberately, with premeditation and with intent to cause injury.”
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The indictment also cites Huntsman’s prior convictions for offenses in Santa Cruz and Plumas counties, including assault with a deadly weapon and theft.
Huntsman’s bail remains set at $10 million. His defense attorney filed a motion to recuse the judge, according to the District Attorney’s Office, and the matter is scheduled for a trial-setting conference Jan. 23.
Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.