The 20-year-old son of a veteran Orange County Fire Authority firefighter pleaded guilty this week to setting vehicle fires and five brush fires in Anaheim and Yorba Linda last summer.
As I try to locate my bound copy of Burning Daddy Issues, know that Anaheim's Gabriel Michael Castillo actually accepted a plea deal from Orange County Superior Court Judge Roger Robbins in Fullerton, where the young man received a two-year prison sentence. However, because of time served in jail already, Castillo will only spend about another year behind bars, much to the chagrin of the Orange County District Attorney's office, which had slapped Castillo with felony counts with a maximum penalty of 13 years and eight months in prison.
(Deputy District Attorney Chris Duff confirmed to City News Service that prosecutors wanted Castillo to spend much more time locked up.)
Castillo had set three vehicles ablaze in Anaheim between May 29-31, 2013, and on the Aug. 19 that followed brush fires near Weir Canyon Road in Anaheim, three spots in Yorba Linda and a fifth west of the Eastern Transportation Corridor (241) Toll Road in Anaheim.
Anaheim Police initially released a photo of a person of interest in the brush fires, but it turned out he was not the firebug. Surveillance video captured a Ford SUV that had been in the area and was linked to Castillo.
Investigators later found a stolen watch and mobile phone inside the SUV, so in addition to pleading guilty to five felony counts of arson of a structure or forest and three counts of arson of property, Castillo copped to receiving stolen property.