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Arsonist who started the Cranston Fire last July is sentenced

February 18, 2019

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif – A Temecula man pled guilty on Thursday, February 14 to intentionally starting the Cranston Fire in the Idyllwild/Mountain Center area last July. Brandon McGlover, DOB: 1-10-86, entered guilty pleas to two counts of Penal Code section 451.5 (c), burning of a structure or forest land. In count one, which is the Cranston Fire, he admitted to an allegation of burning multiple structures.

Seven other counts were dismissed as part of the plea agreement between both sides.

Following the guilty pleas at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, McGlover was sentenced by Judge Kelly Hansen to 12 years and four months in state prison – the maximum sentence for the two counts and the admission of the allegation. Judge Hansen also ordered McGlover to pay restitution to all the victims.

McGlover was charged with starting nine separate fires on July 25, 2018, the largest being the Cranston Fire, which destroyed more than 13,000 acres.

After a thorough review of the evidence in the case, including testimony and evidence presented at McGlover’s preliminary hearing in November, the DA’s Office amended the charges filed against McGlover to best reflect the crimes he committed and the current status of the case.

The original charges filed against McGlover required proving to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that he had a specific intent to burn structures, which the evidence in the case does not support.

The case, SWF1807512, was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Daniel Fox of the DA’s Felony Prosecutions Unit.

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