NATIONAL NEWS

Man acquitted of igniting massive 2018 Southern California wildfire

Jun 1, 2023, 4:14 PM

FILE - The Holy Fire burns in the Cleveland National Forest on Thursday night, Aug. 9, 2018, in Lak...

FILE - The Holy Fire burns in the Cleveland National Forest on Thursday night, Aug. 9, 2018, in Lake Elsinore, Calif. A man has been acquitted of intentionally setting a fire that spread over 36 square miles and burned more than a dozen cabins in Southern California canyons five years ago. A jury on Thursday, June 1, 2023, found Forrest Clark not guilty of arson. (AP Photo/Patrick Record, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Patrick Record, File)

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A man was acquitted Thursday of intentionally setting a fire that spread over 36 square miles (93 square kilometers) and burned more than a dozen cabins in remote Southern California canyons five years ago.

After a monthlong trial, a jury deliberated for a little more than a day before finding Forrest Clark not guilty of three felony counts of arson. Jurors convicted him of one remaining count of making criminal threats against his neighbor, the Orange County Register reported.

The Holy Fire in August 2018 tore through a vast area of Orange and Riverside counties, forcing thousands of people to evacuate. The blaze burned for more than a month.

Prosecutors alleged that Clark had been feuding with and threatening a neighbor and set fire to the man’s cabin, sparking the blaze. Clark’s cabin survived.

Defense attorneys called the fire investigation sloppy and inadequate and argued that the U.S. Forest Service and Orange County Fire Authority failed to prove the blaze was intentionally set or that Clark was at fault.

With no physical evidence directly tying Clark to the start of the fire, prosecutors focused on threats they said he made against his closest neighbor and rants he made to investigators, the Register said.

A pair of independent veteran fire investigation experts hired by the defense argued during the trial that the cause of the fire should have been officially deemed “undetermined” rather than attributed to arson.

National News

Associated Press

Largest trial court in the US closes after ransomware attack, California officials say

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The largest trial court in the country was closed Monday after a ransomware attack shut down its computer system late last week, officials with the Superior Court of Los Angeles County said. The court disabled its computer network upon discovery of the cybersecurity attack early Friday, and the system remained down […]

28 minutes ago

Associated Press

Cleveland-Cliffs will make electrical transformers at shuttered West Virginia tin plant

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Cleveland-Cliffs announced Monday it will produce electrical transformers in a $150 million investment at a West Virginia facility that closed earlier this year. The company hopes to reopen the Weirton facility in early 2026 and “address the critical shortage of distribution transformers that is stifling economic growth across the United States,” […]

31 minutes ago

Charlie Woods drives off the 18th tee during the first round of stroke play of the U.S. Junior Amat...

Associated Press

Tiger Woods watches 15-year-old son Charlie shoot a 12-over 82 in US Junior Amateur at Oakland Hills

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Charlie Woods, the 15-year-old son of Tiger Woods, shot a 12-over 82 on Monday in the U.S. Junior Amateur at Oakland Hills. Woods birdied both of the par 5s on the Oakland Hills North Course and struggled on the par 3s and 4s, carding five double bogeys and four bogeys. […]

31 minutes ago

Image: Vice President Kamala Harris speaks from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Mo...

Steve Coogan

Harris wins Pelosi endorsement, claims many of the delegates she needs for the nomination

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, who initially had been one of the notable holdouts, endorsed Kamala Harris Monday.

1 hour ago

Associated Press

No one hurt when CSX locomotive derails and strikes residential garage in Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — A locomotive derailed and struck a residential garage Monday in Niagara Falls, according to CSX. No one was injured. The impact caused a loss of diesel fuel, which was contained and did not impact any waterways, the railway said in an emailed statement. Photos from the scene show the blue […]

1 hour ago

FILE - A voting center is pictured during early voting in the states' presidential primary election...

Associated Press

GOP threatened to sue over November ballot if Biden dropped out. Experts call that ‘ridiculous’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even before President Joe Biden’s long-speculated withdrawal from the 2024 presidential race, allies of former President Donald Trump floated the possibility of suing to block Democrats from having anyone other than Biden on the ballot in November. But election administration and legal experts said the timing of Biden’s exit on Sunday makes […]

1 hour ago

Man acquitted of igniting massive 2018 Southern California wildfire