Crime

Richland man pleads innocent to reckless burning; Sept. trial set

A 23-year-old man who said he just wanted to destroy some personal documents is accused of starting a fire last September that burned property owned by the city of Richland and a resident and threatened horse stables.

Jose Jordan Macias Larios told police that his shredder had broken so he went to Hall and Chester roads to burn the paperwork, court documents said.

When one of the lit documents blew away and "caught nearby vegetation on fire," Macias Larios tried to put it out but left after he realized "it was too big," documents said.

Macias Larios did not call 911 to report the fire.

The Richland man pleaded innocent Thursday in Benton County Superior Court to first-degree reckless burning regarding the Sept. 9 incident.

Thirty-one firefighters were needed to extinguish flames that spread across land owned by Richland and by Velma Fitzgerald. Along with damage to her property, Fitzgerald lost two cords of wood and a utility trailer, court documents said.

"The fire also threatened several structures in the area, including horse stables," documents said.

Fire investigators reportedly traced it back to Macias Larios after finding several partially burned documents with his name and address.

His trial is scheduled to start Sept. 21.

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