April 18, 2024

IE COMMUNITY NEWS

El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

El Dorado Fire Case: Couple Convicted of Felony and Misdemeanor Charges

2 min read

On February 9, 2024, the San Bernardino County District Attorney ‘s Office reached a resolution with defendants Refugio Manuel Jimenez, Jr. and Angelina Renee Jimenez for conduct that caused the El Dorado Fire in September 2020.

Refugio Jimenez Jr. plead guilty to Count 1 as a Felony, violation of P.C. 192(b) – Involuntary Manslaughter for the death of Firefighter Charlie Morton; Count 6 as a Felony, violation of P.C. 452(b) – Recklessly Causing a Fire to an Inhabited Structure; Count 7 as a Felony, violation of P.C. 452(b) – Recklessly Causing a Fire to an Inhabited Structure.

Angelina Jimenez plead guilty to three misdemeanors counts for violations of P.C. 452(d) – Recklessly Causing Fire to Property of Another.

Refugio Jimenez Jr. was sentenced to two years felony probation, 365 days in County Jail and 200 hours of community service. Angelina Jimenez was sentenced to one year summary probation, and 400 hours of community service. Mr. Jimenez will be remanded into custody on February 23, 2024.

The Jimenez’s are additionally ordered to pay victims’ restitution in the amount of $1,789,972.

“Resolving the case was never going to be a win.” said District Attorney Jason Anderson. “The Defendants’ reckless conduct had tremendous impact on land, properties, emergency response resources, the displacement of entire communities, and resulted in the tragic death of Forest Service Wildland Firefighter Charles Morton. All these factors were given an extraordinary amount of consideration throughout every step of investigation, the Grand Jury process, and court proceedings.”

Today’s resolution came after nearly four years of investigation and litigation, while seeking input from the victims as to an agreement of their restitution and the most just and appropriate punitive action.

“To the victims who lost so much, including their homes with valuables and memories, we understand those are intangibles can never be replaced.” DA Anderson continues, “Our hope with this resolution is that it closes a painful chapter in your lives, and the restitution provides a measure of assistance in becoming whole again.“

“We continue to extend our condolences to the family of Charles Morton and express our deepest gratitude the members of the Grand Jury, and impacted community for their patience. I’d also like to thank United States Forest Service, Cal Fire, the San Bernardino County Fire Department, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Division and the City of Yucaipa for their investigative efforts in this case.“

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