Convictions like King Fire Arsonist Huntsman are Rare

by Placerville Newswire / Aug 19, 2016 / comments

[By Kevin Fagan and Peter Fimrite. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle] In 2014, Stevenson cracked one of the most notorious wildfire arson cases in Sierra Nevada history, and the break came from a good witness. When he lit the 97,000-acre King Fire in Pollock Pines, then-37-year-old Wayne Allen Huntsman took the bone-headed step of recording a selfie video on his phone. He was smirking as he filmed the growing flames, trying to show he’d been caught in a wildfire and was bravely escaping it — and then he showed the clip to a retired firefighter who gave him a ride out of the fire zone.

Like Pashilk, Huntsman was a former prison inmate firefighter. It turned out Huntsman was trying to impress his girlfriend, a drug-rehabilitation counselor, with some form of “heroics”...

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