Crime

Arroyo Grande man found guilty of arson — now he faces 25 years in prison

Watch SLO firefighters learn how to fight a house fire

The San Luis Obispo Fire Department, with support from Cal Fire, created a series of structure fires to train its newly hired firefighters. The training came at the end of a seven-week Recruit Firefighter Academy for the new hires to teach them fi
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The San Luis Obispo Fire Department, with support from Cal Fire, created a series of structure fires to train its newly hired firefighters. The training came at the end of a seven-week Recruit Firefighter Academy for the new hires to teach them fi

An Arroyo Grande man faces nearly 25 years in state prison after being found guilty of starting fires in November 2017 that resulted in a more than a half-million dollars in damage and seriously injured a family pet.

Following less than an hour of deliberations, a San Luis Obispo County jury on Wednesday found Jesse Hubble, 35, guilty by of two felony charges of arson of an inhabited structure and arson of personal property.

According to a news release from the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, Hubble faces a maximum sentence of 24 years and 8 months in state prison due to prior convictions outside San Luis Obispo County for first-degree residential burglary in 2016 and a prior prison term for felony identity theft in 2016.

The jury returned its verdict after a roughly weeklong trial.

The case stemmed from a Nov. 26, 2017, incident in which Hubble started a fire in the bed of a pickup truck in the driveway of a home in the 400 block of Pecan Street in Arroyo Grande.

The fire engulfed the truck and spread to a nearby utility trailer and ultimately the house, which the occupant was unsuccessfully attempting to save with a garden hose when firefighters arrived.

Hubble also ignited a separate fire in a green waste container located at a home down the street, the DA’s Office says.

No one was injured by either fire, although the DA’s Office says a family pet was severely injured by the fire at the first home. The amount of property damage was estimated to be in excess of $500,000.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle. Trevor Creel, Hubble’s defense attorney, could not immediately be reached for comment following the verdict.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 3.

A fire destroyed the computer lab at San Luis Obispo High School early Thursday morning (Dec. 9, 2016). Arson is the suspected cause, and three former students had been arrested. Here's a look at the damage.

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Matt Fountain: 781-7909, @mattfountain1
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