Wildfire homicide trial projected for 2008

May 12, 2007 at 5:42 PM
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RIVERSIDE, Calif., May 12 (UPI) -- The homicide trial of the accused arsonist in a deadly Southern California wildfire likely won't start for another year.

Riverside County prosecutors said Friday it would probably be early 2008 before Raymond Lee Oyler's death-penalty case would be ready to go to trial, The Riverside Press Enterprise said Saturday.

Oyler is charged with five counts for allegedly starting the 40,000-acre Esperanza Fire near Palm Springs last year. Five firefighters were killed and more than 30 homes were destroyed in the fire.

Oyler has denied the allegations.

His lawyers said in court Friday they needed additional time to gather evidence and nail down their client's psychological status.

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