HomeCrimeCouple pleads guilty to causing El Dorado Fire in California

Couple pleads guilty to causing El Dorado Fire in California

Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez pleaded guilty to causing the El Dorado Fire, which killed firefighter Charlie Morton. (Screenshot: OnScene.TV by way of KTLA; image of Morton memorial: Terry Pierson/The Orange County Register via AP, Fire)

Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. and Angela Renee Jimenez pleaded guilty to causing the El Dorado Fire, which killed firefighter Charlie Morton. (Screenshot: OnScene.TV by way of KTLA; image of Morton memorial: Terry Pierson/The Orange County Register via AP, Fire)

The husband and wife accused of starting the deadly El Dorado Fire through a gender reveal party have reached a deal with prosecutors.

Authorities previously said the couple had used a smoke bomb in the gender reveal party, which sparked the fire.

Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr. pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter; two counts of recklessly causing a fire to an inhabited structure, said the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office in California on Friday. All of his charges felonies. He was sentenced to a year in jail, two years of felony probation, and 200 hours of community service. He is scheduled to enter custody on Feb. 23.

His co-defendant and wife, Angela Renee Jimenez, pleaded guilty three misdemeanor counts of recklessly causing fire to property of another. She was sentenced to one year of summary probation and 400 hours of community service.

The conflagration that started Sept. 5, 2020, took the life of Forest Service firefighter Charlie Morton, 29, a crew boss for the Big Bear Hotshots. He was survived by his fiancee, daughter, parents, two brothers, cousins, friends, and other members of the Big Bear Hotshots firefighting crew.

“Charlie was holding the line on the slopes of San Bernardino Peak when he was overtaken by fire,” authorities said.

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