Defendant Bryon Mason was indicted last week by the Placer County Grand Jury on charges of Arson Causing Great Bodily Injury and Arson of an Inhabited Dwelling stemming from an incident which took place on July 11, 2012, in Placer County commonly referred to as the “Robbers Fire”. He was also indicted on allegations that a firefighter sustained great bodily injury and that multiple structures burned in the fire which engulfed more than 2,600 acres of Placer County.
It was alleged that Mason lit and threw an illegal aerial display-type firework in
a swimming hole in Shirttail Creek which started the forest fire.
A preliminary hearing was held on February 14 through February 20, 2013. On March 5, 2013, the court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to hold the defendant to stand trial on the two counts of arson as well as the enhancements. The Judge ordered the defendant released from custody.
Prior to proceeding to trial a defendant charged in a crime must be ordered to
stand trial by a judge at a preliminary hearing or must be indicted by a Grand Jury. The District Attorney’s Office repsectfully disagreed with the ruling and believed that utilizing the option of presenting the case to the Grand Jury was in the interest of justice.
As previously stated, our office remains committed to seeking justice for all of the victims of the Robbers Fire including those firefighters who placed themselves at risk in order to mitigate the damage caused buy the defendant’s actions.
The arraignment on the indictment is scheduled for Thursday June 20th, 2013, in Department 13 of the Placer County Superior Court at 1:00 pm. Defendant’s bail is currently set at $500,000.