Man Pleads Not Guilty to Arson, Vandalism Charges After Torching Churches in Pasadena, Los Angeles

Published : Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | 10:21 AM

Police LightsChristian Michael Garcia, 26, pleaded not guilty to over 20 felony charges related to arson fires and vandalism targeting churches around Los Angeles County, one of which is the Church of the Angels in Pasadena.

Garcia, who appeared court yesterday, faces 13 counts of vandalism of a religious property, three counts of arson of a structure, two counts of second-degree commercial burglary and one count each of attempted second-degree robbery and arson of property, plus two misdemeanor counts of vandalism under $400.

The criminal complaint also includes hate crime allegations.

On March 21, Garcia is due back in front of a judge for a date to be set on a preliminary hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

The felony complaint charges Garcia with vandalism and arson fires between November 25, 2016 and January 25, 2018. A total of four churches located in Pasadena and Los Angeles are named in the charging document.

Garcia is also is charged with vandalizing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Industry Station.

Bail is set at $750,000. If convicted as charged, the defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 23 years in state prison.

The case remains under investigation by the Inter-Agency House of Worship Task Force which includes members of the Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Pasadena Fire Department, Pasadena Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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