Corral Fire Suspects Rescheduled (Again)
BY ANNE SOBLE
Arraignment of two Los Angeles co-defendants charged with starting the Corral Canyon wildfire of November 2007 that destroyed 53 homes and damaged another two dozen structures was postponed again last Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
Brian Alan Anderson, 23, and William Thomas Coppock, 24, are now scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, March 2, in Van Nuys Superior Court. Anderson, Coppock and Brian Franks, 28, who has already pled guilty and is slated for sentencing, are involved in one prosecution case.
Two Culver City men face the same charges in a second case. Eric Matthew Ullman, 19, and Dean Allen Lavorante, 20, are due back in court on Feb. 26, when a date is expected to be set for a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for the pair to also stand trial.
The prosecution charges that the two groups of men went to a notorious rave cave on state parkland atop Corral Canyon to drink and party.
The Culver City men allegedly started a bonfire that the L.A. trio took over and allowed to get out of control in reckless disregard of strong winds and low humidity.
Corral Fire burnouts and neighbors have been monitoring the trial closely. Some are privately grumbling that attorneys for the defendants are engaged in “defense by delay” and drawing out the legal proceedings to try give their clients greater advantage.