Friday, June 5, 2009

Esperanza Fire Arsonist Sentenced to Death

Raymond Lee Oyler has been sentenced to death for the premeditated murder of five, young firefighers who lost their lives saving people and property from wildfires set by the 38-year old Oyler. In 2006, Raymond Lee Oyler intentionally started a fire in Riverside County which was later called the "Esperanza Fire," as it ravaged that small city (about 90 miles outside of Los Angeles). Five firemen, all of whom (save one) were in their 20s, died putting out the blaze.

Oyler was also found guilty of 20 counts of arson and 17 counts of using an incendiary device. The judge could have sentenced the arsonist to life without parole, but opted for the death penalty - a move his lawyer said was "expected."

He's been fine with this whole thing since he got over the initial verdict.
- Mark McDonald, Raymond Lee Oyler's attorney, on how his client responded to the sentence

A jury recommended the death sentence following a month-long trial.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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