Teens Arrested in Brawley Arsons not eligible to be tried as adu


Teens Arrested in Brawley Arsons not eligible to be tried as adults


BRAWLEY, CA - The four teenagers from Brawley who were arrested for setting several downtown businesses on fire will not be charged as adults. After months of investigating police finally arrested the four teens Thursday.

Since they upped the reward to $50,000 Brawley police say tips began to pour in from the community. However, it was evidence investigators found at the most recent fire A-Plus Furniture that led them to the four teen arsonists.

Earlier this week a National Response Team with the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms were called in to investigate a string of arsons. Several buildings have been set on fire over the last six months.

Investigators linked evidence found in the rubble here at A-Plus Furniture to four teenagers who police say robbed the store and then set it on fire. Police say the teens are connected to other fires but would not say how many more.

Again police arrested three 14-year-olds and one 15-year-old. All four are being charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, commercial burglary and conspiracy to commit commercial burglary. They are being held in juvenile detention and at this time it's possible they will not be charged as adults.

Imperial County Assistant District Attorney, Deborah Owen, says "At this point it does not appear they are eligible to be tried as adults based upon the charges. Arson of an inhabited dwelling, a house, or arson that causes great bodily injury are two crimes which would allow juveniles to be tried as adults. Juveniles can also be tried as adults when they are 16. It does not appear any of those circumstances apply."

Brawley Chief of Police, Mark Gillmore, says "In my experience arson is one of the most difficult crimes to solve. If it were not for the expertise that the alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives Bureau, National Response Team brought to our city we would not have been able to conduct and investigation in the manner and obtain the evidence we were able to obtain with out their assistance."

Brawley Police says the investigation is ongoing despite arresting the four teens. The Imperial District Attorneys Office tells me the teens could have their first court appearance as early as Monday. However the hearing will be closed to the public due to the fact they are minors.



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