Man to Stand Trial for Allegedly Setting San Diego County Fire

November 30, 2007

A man has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of intentionally starting a small fire in the northern San Diego County city of Vista during last month’s siege of wildfires.

Nineteen-year-old Gorgonio Nava has pleaded not guilty to committing arson on forest land during a state of emergency. He was ordered to trial on Tuesday. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

Prosecutors say Nava lit a “For Sale” sign on fire using a lighter and pushed it into brush in an open field not far from homes. Flames shot up 20 feet in the air but were quickly extinguished.

An arson investigator testified Nava told him he didn’t realize the danger his fire posed.

Nava remains in custody in lieu of $525,000 bond.

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