Man Accused of Lighting 13 Fires in Calif. Faces 325 Years

By Bay City News
|  Friday, Feb 7, 2014  |  Updated 2:43 AM EDT
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San Jose Serial Arsonist Leaves Elderly Couple Homeless

SJPD

Patrick William Brennan is seen in this booking photo provided by San Jose police.

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Police Make Arrest in San Jose Serial Arsonist Case

A man suspected of a string of arsons that have terrorized a San Jose neighborhood has been arrested, police announced late Wednesday. George Kiriyama reports.

San Jose Serial Arsonist Leaves Elderly Couple Homeless

Investigators continue searching for clues in the 13 arsons that have terrorized a neighborhood just east of downtown San Jose. Donations to the La Vigna family can be made here. Damian Trujillo.
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A convicted arsonist and sex offender accused of setting 13 fires in San Jose last month made a brief appearance Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Patrick Brennan, 48, of San Jose, stood before Judge Shelyna Brown and agreed to waive his right to a trial within 60 days of his arraignment, which took place on Jan. 17.

Brown set the next court appearance for Brennan, who has yet to enter a plea, for March 17.

Brennan faces a potential sentence of 325 years to life if convicted of all 10 felony arson charges and three attempted arson allegations filed by the district attorney's office, according to public defender Charlie Hendrickson.

The possible sentence includes 25 years to life for each count with additional penalties for enhancements and for a potential third strike based on Brennan's prior felony convictions, Hendrickson said.

MORE: Suspected Serial Arsonist in Custody on $1M Bail

Brennan is on a registry for people who must report to police agencies as a convicted arsonist, prosecutors said.

Also, due to a conviction on a sexual battery charge, he is on California's Megan's Law list of sexual offenders, according to the state's Department of Justice website.

Prosecutors' case against Brennan includes six counts of arson on an inhabited structure, three counts of arson on a structure, three counts of attempting to set a fire and one count of arson on a property.

San Jose police arrested Brennan on Jan. 15 for allegedly setting multiple fires near downtown San Jose.

Police say that Brennan, following his arrest, admitted to detectives that he set the fires, led them to the scenes of each of the fires and described how he lit them.

The fires were ignited between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. from Jan. 8 to Jan. 10 in the area between Santa Clara and William streets and between 17th and 33rd streets, according to prosecutors.

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