Suspected burglar accused of trying to burn down occupied home


A Castaic man accused of breaking into a Valencia family’s home and trying to burn it down while the family was inside has been ordered to stand trial.

Abel Medrano, a 34-year-old construction worker, appeared Monday in San Fernando Superior Court where he was formally charged with one felony count each of first-degree burglary, person present, and arson of an inhabited structure.

Last month, Medrano was held to answer to the charges filed against by prosecutors.

On the night of July 19, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested Medrano on suspicion of arson to an inhabited structure.

Prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office allege at least three people were inside the Valencia home when he broke in.

Once inside the home, near the Vista Valencia Golf Course, Medrano tried to set fire to it.

In their criminal complaint filed against Medrano, prosecutors mention that Medrano has been convicted of assault on two other occasions – once on Nov. 29, 1010 and, before that, on Jan. 23, 2005.

When he was arrested in July 19, Medrano was placed into custody at the North County Correctional Facility at the Pitchess Detention Center, with bail set at $1.25 million.

Two days after his arrest, he pleaded not guilty in court.

On Sept. 18, following a brief preliminary hearing, a judge ruled that Medrano be held to answer to the charges filed against him.

He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 6.

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