Sentencing postponed for Castaic arsonist

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The sentencing of a Castaic man who last month pleaded no contest to arson of an inhabited building was put off until next month.

Abel Medrano, a 34-year-old construction worker, appeared Friday in San Fernando Superior Court for sentencing but, instead, was told to return to court on Dec. 17 for sentencing.

On Oct. 3, Medrano pleaded no contest to one felony count of arson of an inhabited structure or property, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The plea came almost one year to the day that Medrano was formally charged with one felony count each of first-degree burglary, person present, and arson of an inhabited structure.

He was arrested July 19, 2017, and accused of breaking into a Valencia family’s home and trying to burn it down while the family was inside.

In September 2017, following a brief preliminary hearing, a judge ruled that Medrano be held to answer to the charges filed against him.

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 him, prosecutors said Medrano has been convicted of assault on two other occasions – once on Nov. 29, 2010, and, before that, on Jan. 23, 2005.

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