EL CAJON (CNS) - A man accused of setting fire to a Greek Orthodox church in Rancho San Diego and trying to kill a cellmate four days after his arrest must stand trial on arson, attempted murder and assault charges, a judge ruled Monday.
Darin Wayne Williams, 39, faces life in prison with parole if convicted.
Judge Herbert Exarhos ruled that enough evidence was presented at the defendant's preliminary hearing Monday at the El Cajon Courthouse to order him to proceed to trial. A Superior Court arraignment was set for May 20.
Williams was arrested Jan. 27 within hours of a fire that caused about $250,000 in damage at Saint Gregory of Nyssa Greek Orthodox Church in the 1900 block of Mary Ann Way at the corner of Jamacha Road.
No one was injured in the 4 a.m. blaze.
Investigators from the sheriff's Bomb/Arson Unit and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were summoned, and Williams was arrested less than 10 hours after the fire.
In that case, the defendant -- who was known to church officials -- is charged with arson, vandalism of a church and second-degree burglary.
Williams is also charged with premeditated attempted murder and assault with intent to commit mayhem in connection with the attack on his cellmate Jan. 31, said Deputy District Attorney David Williams III.
Members of San Diego's police union have ratified a new contract that will raise pay by up to 30.6 percent for some personnel in an effort to bolster hiring and retention efforts in the San Diego Police Department, city leaders announced Monday.
Santa Ana winds will blow through much of San Diego County Monday and combine with record-high temperatures and extremely dry air to create dangerous fire conditions, forecasters said.
Authorities are working Monday to identify the human remains recovered where a plane crash sparked a fire over the weekend in Lakeside, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office.
Dozens of schools in the San Diego Unified School District will be on minimum-day schedules Monday due to forecasted high temperatures, the district said Sunday.
A group of Scripps Ranch residents, some of whom lost homes in the 2003 Cedar Fire, assembled care packages Sunday for survivors of the deadly blazes in Northern California.
Emotions are still raw for many who went through the 2007 fires in San Diego County and lost homes or loved ones.
Firefighters put out a small fire north of the El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside and sheriff's deputies were securing the scene where a small plane crashed, authorities said Sunday.