Castaic man begins serving 10-year sentence for arson

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A Castaic man convicted of arson of an inhabited structure or property has begun serving a 10-year prison sentence for the crime in North Kern State Prison.

In mid-January, Abel Medrano, a 34-year-old construction worker, appeared in San Fernando Superior Court, where he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

He was admitted last month to the North Kern State Prison, and is eligible for parole in six years.

Medrano pleaded no contest to the felony charge in October, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The plea came almost one year to the day after Medrano was formally charged with one felony count each of first-degree burglary, with a 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 alleged in their initial complaint that 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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