MAN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER AND ARSON FOR SETTING FIRE TO TENT WITH HOMELESS MAN AND WOMAN INSIDE

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged with attempted murder and arson for setting fire to a tent with a homeless man and woman inside in Santa Ana.

Defendant Charges Maximum Sentence Court Date
James Anthony Lawlor, 35, Santa Ana Charged on Jan. 26, 2018, with the following felony counts:

  • Attempted murder
  • Arson of inhabited property
  • Possession of flammable material

Sentencing Enhancements

  • Premeditation
  • Arson with accelerant
Seven years to life in state prison Continued arraignment

Feb. 6, 2018, 8:30 a.m.

Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

  • At the time of the crime, John Doe and Jane Doe lived in a tent near the defendant’s residence in Santa Ana.
  • At approximately 8:20 a.m. on Jan. 19, 2018, Lawlor is accused of confronting John Doe outside of his tent and kicking the victim in the face.     
  • The defendant is accused of driving away in his truck and returning to the victims’ tent a short time later with a red gasoline can.
  • Lawlor is further accused of pouring gasoline on John Doe and Jane Doe’s tent and lighting it on fire while both the victims were inside. The defendant is accused of then fleeing the scene.
  • Santa Ana Police Department, who investigated this case, arrested Lawlor on Jan. 25, 2018.

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Nichols, Special Prosecutions Unit

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 18CF0326 / January 30, 2018

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