Monday, February 23, 2009

Man Sentenced for Role in Malibu Fire

One of five men accused of starting the Corral Canyon fire in Malibu which injured three people and destroyed more than 50 homes was sentenced, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Ann Ambrose said Brian David Franks, 28, was sentenced to five years of formal felony probation, 51 days of time already served in county jail and 300 hours of fire abatement community service. Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Leslie Dunn additionally ordered the defendant to pay restitution and ordered him to stay away from the Corral Canyon area unless he is there doing court-supervised community service.

A restitution hearing will be scheduled for a later date. As a condition of his probation, Franks must testify at any future proceeding if he is called either by the defense or the prosecution.

The prosecutor said 20 people gave victim impact statements at sentencing and “talked about the loss of their homes and their pets and that many people escaped death by moments.”

In December 2007, Franks was among a group of young people who started a fire in a cave at the top of a hillside in Malibu. Ultimately, the fire raged out of control and resulted in injuries to three firefighters and destroyed 53 homes. loss of their homes and their pets and that many people escaped death by moments.” Franks pleaded no contest Oct. 1, 2008 to a felony count of recklessly causing a fire of a structure or forest.

Charges are pending against Brian Alan Anderson, William Thomas Coppock, Eric Matthew Ullman and Dean Allen Lavorante who are accused of recklessly causing a fire with great bodily injury and recklessly causing a fire to multiple inhabited structures.

The complaint further alleges that the crime was committed during a time when the governor had declared a state of fire emergency.

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