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De Vaul may take his case to national airwaves

The San Luis Obispo rancher convicted in September on two charges of violating fire safety and vehicle storage laws may appear on “Good Morning America” and “Larry King Live” in coming days.

Dan De Vaul, 66, provides shelter for the homeless and meetings for substance abuse recovery at his ranch.

De Vaul said he has spoken with representatives from “Good Morning America” and was expecting confirmation late Monday or today about whether he’ll appear on the program sometime this week.

“It looks like it’s going to happen,” De Vaul said. “I’m just waiting for confirmation.”

De Vaul said he hopes to schedule the “Larry King Live” appearance for next week so the interview doesn’t conflict with his interview on “Good Morning America.”

No specific days for his possible appearances have been determined, De Vaul said.

Attempts by The Tribune to reach representatives of both programs on Monday were unsuccessful.

De Vaul said Mary Partin, the former juror from his trial who bailed him out of jail last week, could join him on one or both programs.

Partin voted guilty on two of the nine charges against De Vaul, but she said felt she was forced into her vote and that she feels strongly about De Vaul’s innocence and wanted to help him.

De Vaul said he has been seeking national media attention to draw widespread attention to his situation.

A motion for a new trial filed by De Vaul was denied. He’s appealing his conviction to the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Ventura.

Partin worked with a bondsman to pay De Vaul’s $5,000 bail. He was jailed Nov. 23 and released the next evening.

De Vaul has been a thorn in the side of the county for alleged building and safety violations.

Those violations have resulted in years of warnings and inspections for him to comply with code on his 72-acre Sunny Acres ranch, where he and his tenants grow tomatoes and other produce.

A jury convicted De Vaul of violating laws by creating a safety hazard in converting an agricultural barn into a de facto barracks and illegally storing mobile homes and vehicles at his property on Los Osos Valley Road, just west of the San Luis Obispo city limits.

De Vaul was acquitted on charges of illegally stockpiling grading materials and violating a stop-work order.

The jury was deadlocked on five other charges, which the District Attorney’s Office has dismissed.

De Vaul was sentenced to 90 days in County Jail and a $1,000 fine after refusing probation conditions from Judge John Trice that would have allowed county inspectors to come onto his property when they wanted and report to the court his progress with code compliance every 45 days.

The inspections would have been allowed up to a period of five years.

But prosecutors said the inspections likely would have been spaced out more than 45 days if he complied with laws.

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