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Final 2 defendants sentenced in connection with Corral fire in 2007

October 20, 2010 |  9:17 pm

Two men were sentenced Wednesday to probation and community service for their involvement in starting the 2007 Corral fire in Malibu, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Eric Matthew Ullman, 21, and Dean Allen Lavorante, 22, pleaded no contest to recklessly causing the fire. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Susan Speer sentenced the men to five years' probation and ordered them to perform 500 hours of fire-related community service.

Ullman and Lavorante were the last of five men charged in connection with the fire, which burned 5,000 acres, destroyed 53 homes and injured five firefighters.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Frances Young said in a statement that Speer determined that Ullman and Lavorante left the scene before the flames began to spread.

Speer ruled that Ullman and Lavorante were not liable for the estimated $25 million in restitution and damages caused by the fire, although she did order them to pay a $1,000 fine to the state restitution fund.

The other defendants -- Brian Alan Anderson, 25; William Thomas Coppock, 26; and Brian David Franks, 30 -- all pleaded no contest. Anderson and Coppock were sentenced to a year in jail and were also placed on probation with community service.

Franks, who testified against Anderson and Coppock, was sentenced to five years' probation and 300 hours of community service.

Anderson and Coppock were found particularly at fault for the fire, which began about 3:30 a.m. two days after Thanksgiving in 2007, because they kicked burning pieces of wood and a pillow or pillowcases out of a cave where the men had started an illegal campfire.

Those three defendants are scheduled to appear before Speer on Dec. 1 for a hearing on restitution. Anderson and Coppock have already been ordered to pay $7.7 million in restitution for firefighting costs. Restitution to homeowners is about $17 million.

-- Sam Allen