Northern California

Wayne Allen Huntsman, King Fire Arson Suspect, Indicted By Grand Jury

A man previously charged with deliberately starting a huge Northern California wildfire that burned a dozen homes has now been indicted by a grand jury.

El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson announced that 37-year-old Wayne Allen Huntsman was indicted Monday on one count of arson of forest land, with multiple aggravating factors.

His attorney, Bob Banning, did not return telephone and email messages.

Huntsman's bail remains at $10 million until his next court appearance on Jan. 23. Huntsman pleaded not guilty, as he did to a similar complaint in September.

The indictment charges that he "willfully, unlawfully, and maliciously'' set what developed into the King Fire. The blaze burned more than 150 square miles east of Sacramento and forced thousands of evacuations.

His ex-girlfriend told reporters back in September Huntsman "respected nature more than he respected people."

"Even if he was angry with the world," she told NBC affiliate KSBW, "this would be the last thing he would do to retaliate."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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