Windsor man gets 7 years for grass fire arson

 Windsor man gets 7 years for grass fire arson

1 July 2009

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Ca, USA — A 19-year-old Windsor man was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in prison for his role in a dozen arson fires that caused fire departments to scramble to combat grass fires last year.

Robert Joseph Pringle was sentenced on 12 counts of suspected arson and conspiracy to commit arson by Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Ken Gnoss. Pringle had no prior history of criminal offenses.

A second defendant in the case, Crystal Ann Dunigan, 20, also of Windsor, is to be sentenced on July 9. Charges against a third person who was arrested in connection with the fires have been been handled by Sonoma County Juvenile Court authorities because he is under 18 years of age.

Gnoss imposed restitution costs on Pringle because fire departments in Rincon Valley, Graton, Forestville, Healdsburg and Windsor spent about $15,000 in fighting the fires. Most of the fires burned vegetation, but did not result in significant property damage. They were set during the first two weeks of September west of Highway 101.

Fire investigators told the court that Pringle became a suspect after his vehicle was seen near some of the fires and after he was interviewed at the scene of one of them.

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