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Arson Suspect Pleads Guilty
updated: Feb 24, 2014, 9:00 PM

Source: Santa Barbara District Attorney

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that defendant Amos Lee Andrews, age 57, pled guilty to Attempted Murder, Arson of an Inhabited Structure with a Use of an Accelerant enhancement, and First Degree Residential Burglary for setting the Town Center Hotel on fire on October 12, 2013. It is expected, at the time of his sentencing, that Mr. Andrews will receive 17 years in state prison where he must serve a minimum of 85% of his sentence before he becomes eligible for parole. His sentencing has been continued until March 7, 2014.

In the early morning hours of October 12, 2013, Mr. Andrews broke into the Town Center Hotel located at 215 N. Broadway Street in the city of Santa Maria. He then set the maintenance room on fire. Located in the maintenance room were cans of paint, paint thinners, and other chemicals. These chemicals acted as accelerants which caused the fire to spread quickly into other areas of the hotel, resulting in the need to evacuate all occupants. Over 50 people were present in the hotel at the time of the fire. The Town Center Hotel was destroyed as a result of the fire. Mr. Andrews was arrested at 7:42 p.m. later that same day.

When commenting on the case District Attorney Dudley said, "The swift response and highly professional investigation by the Santa Maria Fire Department, Santa Barbara County Fire Department, and the Santa Maria Police Department led to both the collection of significant evidence and the rapid apprehension of Mr. Andrews. Additionally, the follow-up support from the District Attorney's Arson Task Force combined with the legal research conducted by prosecuting Deputy DA Brandon Jebens made it possible to achieve this successful outcome without incurring the high costs associated with this type of trial."


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