EL CAJON (CNS) - A Poway man accused of setting five roadside fires on East County forest land over a several-month period must stand trial on five
counts of arson, a judge ruled Thursday.
Jonathan Benjamin Cohen, 44, was taken into custody on an arrest warrant in July.
The arson fires Cohen is accused of setting were small and did not damage any structures, said Deputy District Attorney Andy Aguilar.
They occurred on October 24 of last year, and April 19, June 15, June 20, and June 23 of this year, the prosecutor said.
Authorities believe Cohen used an incendiary device to start the fires.
Aguilar said authorities are looking at forensic evidence from seven other fires dating back to 2012 to determine if Cohen could face additional
After more than a day of testimony at the courthouse in El Cajon, Judge John Thompson ruled that enough evidence was presented for Cohen to proceed to trial on the five arson charges. The defendant faces 11 years and four months in prison if convicted.
A Superior Court arraignment was set for Sept. 17.