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Charges Filed In Deadly Calif. Wildfire

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posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 06:37 AM
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On Thursday, authorities charged Raymond Lee Oyler of Beaumont with arson and murder crimes that carry a possible death sentence. Family and colleagues of the five firefighters killed by a wind-swept wildfire praised authorities Friday for charging a man with murder and arson in this case as they prepare for their loved ones' funerals.
 



abcnews.go.com
"This arrest really does help with some of the closure, the healing that we in the Forest Service community, and in the families, need," said Jeanne Wade Evans, the San Bernardino National Forest supervisor.

Oyler was charged with five counts of murder, 11 counts of arson and 10 counts of use of an incendiary device. The charges include seven fires in June, one in July, one in September and two in October.

Oyler denied any involvement.

In a jailhouse interview, he told The Press-Enterprise of Riverside that he was home with his baby girl when the deadly fire broke out and that he had "no idea why they came to me."

"All I know is I didn't do this and they're trying to pin this on me," Oyler said. "They need to find the real person."


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Supposedly the evidence against Oyler is overwhelming, yet officials will not disclose a motive and will not say what led investigators to Oyler. Other sources say that Oylers car is the link to his arrest and that he may be linked to up to 10 other arson strted fires.

The charges are punishable by life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Prosecutors say they will decide in the next 60 days which sentence they will want to seek.

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posted on Nov, 5 2006 @ 09:12 AM
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Supposedly the evidence against Oyler is overwhelming, yet officials will not disclose a motive and will not say what led investigators to Oyler. Other sources say that Oylers car is the link to his arrest and that he may be linked to up to 10 other arson strted fires.


His car? Yes and no.


A car linked to a man charged with setting a wildfire that killed five firefighters was spotted near at least 10 other arsons, according to an official involved in the investigation.

Cameras secretly placed atop utility poles in remote areas captured details of a car registered to a man who said he had sold it to Raymond Lee Oyler months ago, said the official, who requested anonymity because the case was continuing.

The official said detectives then began investigating Oyler for a string of arsons and found evidence linking him to last week's fire.

Official: Man's Car Spotted Near Fires



Here's a little more info I dug up about this.




Authorities are looking at Oyler in connection with at least 40 arson wildfires in the area since May, including the 11 charged.

Man of Fire?



Before the Esperanza Fire, Oyler had been a suspect in the earlier blazes but was not arrested then, authorities have said. "Since about mid-May we have been looking at a number of suspects and (Oyler) was one of them," Lingle said.

"All the facts have led us to one source," Pacheco (District Attorney-elect) said. There are no other persons of interest at this time, he said.

Oyler has a criminal record in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as Missouri. None of the counts involves arson.

Inland man accused of killing firefighters



He (Oyler) said he did not know why detectives began targeting him, trailing him at home and at work, taking a swab of DNA from his cheek and asking him to take a polygraph exam, which he refused.

They asked whether he had lent his Ford Taurus to anyone and, while serving a search warrant, took boots and other items from his home, Oyler told the Press-Enterprise.

"Obviously they didn't mean for anybody to get killed," Oyler told the Press-Enterprise, speaking of whoever started what authorities insist was an arson-set fire.

Oyler's criminal history dates back to 1990 and includes auto theft, drug possession, probation violations and traffic warrants, but McDonald said his client has "no history of arson in his background."

Funeral Held For Firefighters Killed While Fighting Blaze



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