Concord Resident Arrested For Arson in Contra Costa County (CA Penal Code §451)

Concord Resident Arrested For Arson in Contra Costa County (CA Penal Code §451)

Rabin Nabizadeh
May 20, 2013

Concord resident, Julie Tenpenny (48) was arrested this month on suspicion of starting a grass fire in Martinez. It seems that Tenpenny used a lighter to set small fires near Alhambra Hills Drive.  Law enforcement officials say that they received phoned-in tips about the woman starting as early as 5pm on Sunday evening.  When they went to investigate, they found Tenpenny – uncooperative and seemingly under the influence of drugs.  Why she started the small fires, which did require the Contra Costa County Fire Department to drop some water from their helicopters in order to extinguish the minor blaze, is still a mystery.  Because Tenpenny refused to cooperate – even getting into a struggle with the arresting officers – she was charged with both arson and being under the influence of drugs.

In the state of California, there are two sections of the Penal Code that could apply to cases such as Tenpenny’s: arson (CA Penal Code §451) and “reckless burning (CA Penal Code §452).  There is a significant difference between these two charges: arson is done intentionally, whereas reckless burning may occur when, for example, someone accidentally causes a fire after dropping a lit cigarette.  Tenpenny has been charged with arson because the police suspect that she was purposefully using a lighter to set the small fires.  Bail in this case has been set at $75,000 and this indicates that Tenpenny has most likely been charged with felony arson.  The crime of arson is taken so seriously in California that there are even special “fire investigators” who act as part of a larger task force to solve crimes of this nature. Being charged with either arson or reckless burning does not depend upon whether or not damage was done to persons or to property. In Tenpenny’s case, no real damage was done and the fire was quickly stifled.  However, if prosecutors can prove that she purposefully and “maliciously” set the hilly area on fire, she can still be subjected to psychological evaluation before sentencing and may spend anywhere from 3 to 9 years in state prison and pay up to $60,000 in fines.

latest news

May 18, 2022
Why Term Papers For Sale May Not Be For You

In regards to faculty, many students search for and try out free term papers available on various websites. They are offered free of charge and a number of websites also offer it available with a few terms

April 7, 2022
What Can I Expect After Being Arrested for a DUI in California?
A DUI charge is a severe criminal offense in California. DUI arrests take away a massive part of your driving privilege and could tarnish your reputation. Prior DUI convictions can inflict further damage to your career opportunities, driving rights, and immigration status. This blog will go over what you must expect when facing DUI charges. [...]
April 7, 2022
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in California?
DUI cases may stay on your criminal record forever. The United States sees DUI as a serious traffic crime punishable with grave penalties. Fighting your way through a DUI case is a challenging task. But, it doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. There are legal options available for you, depending on the nature [...]