Thursday, January 22, 2009

Esperanza fire trial begins

After the last two alternate jurors were selected this morning the actual trial began for Raymond Lee Oyler, accused of 45 counts of murder and arson, including starting the October, 2006 Esperanza fire that overran and killed the 5-person crew of Engine 57 of the San Bernardino National Forest in southern California. Both attorneys made their opening statements today and the first witness was questioned, CalFire Battalion Chief Andrew Bennett.

The prosecutor expects to call about 100 witnesses in this trial which is expected to last at least 40 days. The jury trial is in recess until Monday at 9 a.m.

The Press-Enterprise had numerous brief updates today, and the San Diego Union also has an article about the trial written by an Associated Press reporter. The P-E will have "full coverage" of the trial in Fridays' edition.

Is anyone attending this trial other than reporters and the families of the deceased firefighters? If so, contact me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my nephew Jess McLean died in that fire, When Oyler started that fire he knew that there were lives in jeopardy. Jess was a good man, he took care of his father while he was dying of cancer, after his dad passed away Jess was always there for his mother. Jess also helped out with his grand-mother. 7 months before the fire his Uncle passed away from a heart attack, his grandmother became ill, Jess was there. Jess helped deliver a baby on the side of the road, there was nothing but good in Jess McLean. You took away a son, grangson, nephew,husband. And Jess was a very well loved man. I know justice will prevail, you hurt alot of paople when you started this fire and I know and hope that everyday it haunts you until the day you die.

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