An ex-convict accused of trying to burn down an apartment building in Chalan Kanoa pleaded guilty yesterday in Superior Court and was slapped with an 18-month prison term.
Joaquin T. Arriola pleaded guilty to reckless burning, a lesser offense of arson, as part of a plea deal.
Associate Judge David A. Wiseman sentenced Arriola to two years in prison, all suspended except for 18 months, to be served without the possibility of parole.
Arriola, 38, was given credit for time served since March 9, 2013, to the present. After completing his sentence, he will be placed on supervised probation for two years.
Arriola was also ordered to pay a $100 fine, $25 court assessment fee, plus probation fee to be assessed later, and required to perform 200 hours of community service. He is prohibited from going within 300 yards of the Elephant barracks throughout his probation, among other conditions.
Arriola started a fire at the Elephant barracks on March 8, 2013, by placing an ice chest on top of a portable gas stove and turning on the stove. The fire charred and damaged a wooden bench, cooler, and the portable stove.
Police investigation showed that Arriola, one of the tenants of the apartment, used a gas stove in the outside kitchen to light up the cooler and some benches. Other tenants immediately extinguished the flames prior to the arrival of firefighters.
A witness told police that prior to the incident, Arriola had been drinking with his girlfriend and another woman in the outside kitchen of the apartment.
The building used to be the barracks of construction workers of Elephant Corp.
In 2006, Arriola pleaded guilty to assault after beating a woman. He was sentenced to two days in prison.