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Stanton man convicted of arson and animal cruelty

April 26, 2012 |  6:15 pm

A 31-year-old Stanton man was convicted Thursday of setting fire to his home and poisoning his dog before slitting its throat.

Jaime Arturo Garcia pleaded guilty to one felony count of arson, one felony count of animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of unlawfully causing a fire to property.

According to the Orange County district attorney’s office, on July 24, 2011, Garcia set piles of clothing on fire inside the home he shared with his two sisters, who were gone at the time.

The fire damaged the laundry room but burned out before spreading throughout the house. Garcia then fed his 7-year-old dog various pills before taking a kitchen knife to the dog’s throat. The dog, a dachshund mix, bled out around the house and died on Garcia’s bed.

One of Garcia’s sisters called authorities upon returning to the smoke-filled residence. Garcia was treated for self-inflicted injuries at a hospital.

Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced May 7 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. He is expected to be sentenced to four years and eight months in state prison.

His conviction included a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated, and Deputy Dist. Atty. Andrew Katz of the Special Prosecutions Unit prosecuted the case.

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-- Corina Knoll

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