News Alert
UPDATED: House on Fire in Pacific Palisades

Man Charged with Arson, Attempted Murder in De Luz House Fire

Ronnie Duvall James, 55, is facing six felony counts, including two counts of attempted murder, in connection with the Oct. 23 house fire in the hills just west of Temecula.

Criminal charges were filed Thursday against a Temecula man suspected of intentionally setting a De Luz home on fire Oct. 23.

Ronnie Duvall James, 55, has been charged with one felony count of arson, two felony counts of attempted murder, one felony count of burglary and one felony count of making a false insurance claim, according to Riverside County court records.

He is also accused of taking or destroying property in connection with the blaze at the home in the 26700 block of Camino Seco, in the hills just west of Temecula.

James, whose aliases include Ron James and Ronnie Dall, was arrested by California Department of Forestry personnel at 11:33 p.m. the night of the fire, according to jail records.

It took 25 firefighters a short while to contain the blaze, which was reported about five hours before James' arrest.

The damages—estimated at $150,000—to the two-story home were limited to one bedroom, fire officials said at the time.

No one was injured in the blaze, authorities said.

However, two people were inside the home at the time, according to a report published Thursday by The Press-Enterprise.

James posted $50,000 bail the day after his arrest, jail records showed.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Dec. 20 at Southwest Justice Center.

Juri J January 09, 2013 at 05:38 AM
Crap, he was the most normal one in my family and now he snapped. -_- Darn it, Uncle.
Voice of Reason August 02, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Accused Arsonist Exonerated Home → Criminal → Accused Arsonist Exonerated The nightmare is finally over for Temecula resident and business owner, Ron James. After 9 months of accusations and court appearances, all criminal charges stemming from a Temecula fire back in October 2012 have been dismissed in Riverside Superior Court. “It’s unfortunate that it took this long for the truth to come out and be recognized, but we are glad it’s over, James’ attorney, Joseph Camarata stated after leaving court. “Mr. James is a very lucky and unlucky man. He is lucky that he had the support of his family and friends and he is lucky because the Deputy District Attorney handling the prosecution is a very hardworking and ethical lawyer. Not many DAs would go to the lengths [Deputy District Attorney Al Kim] did to investigate and evaluate his case. Mr. James is unlucky because he never would have been in this position if the original Cal Fire investigators had done their job correctly in the beginning,” Camarata said. The investigation Attorney Camarata is referring to is the investigation that led to the arrest of Ron James on October 23, 2012, the night of the fire. At around 6:00 pm, authorities were notified that a fire had broken out in the living room of a house owned by Mr. James and his wife Marene in the De Luz area of Temecula. Two of Marene’s family members were inside the home when the fire was discovered and contacted 911. The fire was contained to the living room but caused substantial damage to the large home. Riverside Sheriff and Cal Fire officers arrived after the fire was extinguished to determine the cause and origin. When the cause could not be determined, Cal Fire immediately turned their attention to Ron James as a suspect because he had been in the house prior to the fire. However, it’s what Cal Fire investigators Captain Chris Palmer and Captain David Laclair didn’t do that led to Mr. James’ arrest. Mr. James’ legal team led by Attorney Joseph Camarata and his investigator, Tom Hicks, pored over the evidence in the case to determine how the fire started and whether it was intentional or accidental. During that review Camarata learned that there were additional video cameras in the house that were not reviewed by Cal Fire investigators. It was the video from one of those cameras that proved what Ron James had been saying all along, “I didn’t start a fire. I’m innocent.” Camarata explained, “one of the cameras that Cal Fire knew about but neglected to analyze was sitting in a box of items that had been packed up after the fire. In that camera was a disk that contained several video files from the interior of the house, specifically the family room. A room that did not burn or sustain much damage relative to the living room. Those video files proved that Ron James could not have possibly started a fire on that day, or that he could have even set foot in the living room. Had the video been reviewed how and when it should have, the day of the fire, Ron James never would have been arrested and erroneously charged with these crimes. We are lucky these cameras weren’t lost, destroyed, or worse.” James agreed. “I’m fortunate that this is all behind me. Now I can focus my time and attention on rebuilding my businesses and undoing what Captain Palmer and Cal Fire did to my life.” Ron James is a lucky, innocent man.
Brenda August 03, 2013 at 05:08 AM
Voice of Reason, WOW is all I have to say at this point. This would mean all of these statements made by police, fire, investigators to newspapers all lied about a robbery being covered up? All the other 'evidence" show of videos seeing him do this and that and set the fire? Just Wow again.
Voice of Reason August 04, 2013 at 09:10 PM
There was actually never an allegation of a robbery according to court records or the Press Enterprise. I find it very interesting that The Patch was quick to jump on the arrest story but never published a piece detailing the dismissal and Cal Fire investigation. Seems quite one-sided to me.
Voice of Reason August 04, 2013 at 09:13 PM
I agree Brenda. It's frightening to think how easy it is to make and publish an allegation that is actually false. Imagine how one's life can he affected by such misinformation.


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