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Arsonist Charged In Eight Suspicious Fires

Suspect has served prison time for arson.


An ex-convict who served a prison term for several San Fernando Valley fires in 1988 was charged with arson today in connection with a group of small fires set late last month in the Lake Hughes area as several huge brush fires swept throughout Southern California.

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Rickey Jimenez, 52, was arrested Wednesday in Lake Hughes and charged Friday with eight counts of arson related to eight separate fires on Oct. 28 in two separate areas on Lake Hughes Road and Pine Canyon Road, according to a release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Arraignment was expected Friday afternoon in Lancaster.

Jimenez was sent to prison in 1988 for a string of nail salon fires in the San Fernando Valley and was also convicted in 1979 in connection with fire at a school.

The Lake Hughes fires came as much of Southern California was swept by deadly wind-whipped firestorms that destroyed hundreds of homes.  All the fires allegedly started by Jimenez were extinguished fairly quickly.

Bail was recommended at $1 million.  If convicted, the defendant is facing a possible sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.