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Esparanza Arsonist Sentenced to Death

Commentary On the Conviction by a Wallin & Klarich Homicide Criminal Defense Attorney

Raymond Lee Oyler was sentenced to death on June 6, 2009, according to a published report on the LA Times website. Oyler was convicted of setting the Esparanza blaze in 2006, which claimed the lives of 5 firefighters. Oyler was convicted March 6, 2009 of five counts of first-degree murder in California, 20 counts of arson, and 17 counts of using an incendiary device. A jury at that time called for the death penalty.

In handing down his sentencing, Riverside County Superior Court Judge W. Charles Morgan indicated that Oyler had set out to ‘create havoc’.

“He became more and more proficient. He knew young men and women would put their lives on the line to protect people and property, yet he continued anyway.”

Prosecutors say he set a string of fires, as many as 25, throughout the San Gorgonio Pass in the summer of 2006. The fires, sometimes set day after day, steadily grew larger and more difficult to put out.

Homicide is a category of crimes that includes first-degree murder (a premeditated killing), second-degree murder and manslaughter. In California, even a killing that wasn’t intentional may be treated as first-degree murder if it happened during an inherently dangerous felony, in this case, arson. This is called the felony-murder rule.

Whenever these types of serious charges are levied against individuals, a strong, competent defense is mandatory. Our country affords all individuals the right to a fair trial, and while the defense of alleged arsonists may not be popular, it is required under our system of justice. Experienced California violent crime and arson attorneys can help mount the best defense possible for their clients. Our trial attorneys come from both defense and prosecutorial backgrounds, giving us a complete perspective on the defense of very serious charges. We have lawyers with over twenty years of experience in winning serious felony cases.

Wallin & Klarich attorneys have dealt with all aspects of cases involving capital punishment, and will be able to give you the best possible chance to win in court. Our aggressive attorneys are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to advise you on your case. Call us today at 1-888-280-6839. Also, visit us online at www.wklaw.com to learn more about your case and what can be done.

About Wallin & Klarich

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Wallin & Klarich was established in 1981. Over the past 32 years, our law firm has helped tens of thousands of families in their time of legal need. Regardless of whether our clients faced criminal or DUI charges, the loss of their driving privilege, or wanted to clean up their criminal record, we have been there to help them.