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Summit Fire Trial Set for Jan. 28

Los Gatos contractor is accused of starting massive inferno in May of 2008.

The trial for the has now been set for Jan. 28, 2013, as the prosecutor in the case, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney David Boyd was in trial.

Channing Parker Verden is now being represented by who's asked Superior Court Judge Rise Jones Pichon for as much time possible to carefully review the case before beginning.

Verden's previous attorney, Michael Hingle, withdrew from the case in February due to what Boyd said was the defendant's inability to pay for counsel.

Verden has been charged with recklesly starting the inferno more than four years ago after it's alleged he left burning piles of debris at a home located at 31000 Summit Road owned by Los Gatos resident Andrew Napell.

Cal Fire has said the Summit fire burned 4,270 acres, began at 5:17 a.m., destroyed 35 residences, 64 outbuildings, caused 16 injuries and cost more than $16 million to fight.

A Google map on Cal Fire's website shows how the inferno engulfed many mountainous areas in Los Gatos and came dangerously close to Highway 17, 10 miles roughly from the center of town, according to Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.

If convicted, Verden could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison or receive probation or no jail time, Boyd said.

It's possible, however, that Verden could receive probation, Boyd said.

Poot December 10, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I think I'd find a way to afford a lawyer as opposed to that PD.
Mary Lindsay December 10, 2012 at 11:14 PM
This fire really did not come anywhere near Hwy. 17. It was, however, only 3-4 miles east of us (we are on the Loma Prieta ridge), and we awoke to a red sky that lit up the early morning darkness. The offshore wind drove the flames down the hill towards Corralitos. If it had blown onshore or shifted just a bit it would have been a different story for us and the more highly populated area along Highland Way and Summit Road (no comfort though for all those who did lose their homes), and then it could have moved close to Hwy. 17. But as it was, it really wasn't close to Hwy. 17.
Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz December 11, 2012 at 01:41 AM
These things always get postponed. But I do believe you reap what you sow....
Jeanne Conrad December 12, 2012 at 12:48 AM
The fire was going east towards Morgan Hill as we were evacuated on Croy Road and Little Uvas. It was not near Los Gatos downtown. The hilocoptors with buckets of water flew over our house for 2 days. The ashes covered our decks and driveways. It was awful, he should be punished!

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