August 23, 2014
REDDING, Calif. (AP) - A former firefighter has pleaded not guilty to murder and arson in connection with a wildfire that killed one person and destroyed dozens of homes in rural Northern California.
Zane Wallace Peterson of Happy Valley, Calif., entered the plea during his arraignment in Shasta County Superior Court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors say the 29-year-old started two fires that turned into the massive Clover Fire in Shasta County in September. The blaze charred nearly 13 square miles, and destroyed 68 homes and 128 other structures.
It also claimed the life of 56-year-old Brian Henry, whose body was found in a mobile home ravaged by fire.
Peterson is also accused of starting six other fires since September and faces hundreds of other arson-related charges.
He is being held on $3 million bail and is due back in court Jan. 2.
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