Two accused of SCV felonies return to court

FILE
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Two people accused of having committed felonies in the Santa Clarita Valley returned to court on Monday.  

Maria Herrera  

Maria Herrera, 29, of Newhall, returned to court on Monday after she was charged last year in connection to an alleged vehicle theft and arson. 

Herrera was charged with one felony count each of driving or taking a vehicle without consent (a 2016 Prius owned by UCLA); and arson of a structure or forest, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the D.A.’s Office, at the time of her arrest.  

The charges include that she was out on bail on her own recognizance when the crimes occurred and that she was convicted of robbery in 2014.  

She is scheduled to reappear on May 19 for a prelim setting. A prelim setting is a hearing date to schedule a preliminary hearing — when the evidence is presented to the judge who decides whether the trial will move ahead.   

Herrera is accused of stealing the car and then starting a fire near 15th Street and Railroad Avenue on Oct. 2, according to prosecutors. The incident was reported at 3:30 p.m., but firefighters stopped forward progress on the blaze about seven minutes later, after the fire had grown to about 2 acres, according to fire officials. 

No one was hurt in the fire, and no structures were damaged. Herrera was arrested soon after multiple witnesses reported seeing her start the blaze, and she was apprehended at a traffic stop later that same day.  

She is being held in lieu of $255,000 bail at the Century Regional Detention Facility. 

Thomas Hearn  

A man accused of attacking a good Samaritan at a Newhall Metrolink Station last year returned to court on Monday.  

Thomas Hearn, 23, a reportedly homeless man who lives in Santa Clarita, was accused last year of assault in connection with an alleged attack on a man who was reportedly trying to break up an apparent fight between Hearn and a woman who was with him at the Metrolink station. 

The good Samaritan suffered injuries that were not life-threatening and the woman with Hearn filed a report with the SCV Sheriff’s Station about the incident in October. Hearn turned himself in to authorities soon after Oct. 5.  

He is scheduled to return on May 11 for a prelim setting.  

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