SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who intentionally set a series of early morning fires within walking distance of his City Heights home was sentenced Friday to seven years and four months in state prison.
Rolando Resendiz, 25, was convicted in March of six counts of arson.
Deputy District Attorney Ted Fiorito, arguing for the prison term, said Resendiz "terrorized" residents by setting fires near houses and apartments in the middle of the night when people were sleeping.
Resendiz was arrested on April 4, 2015, when he was found walking from an area on Ogden Street where a bag of clothes was set ablaze on someone's porch.
Arson investigators also linked the defendant to several more fires set on March 31, 2015, including two at an apartment building and three in nearby dumpsters.
When Resendiz was arrested, he told investigators that he went out to have a cigarette, when in fact he didn't have any cigarettes with him, Fiorito said.
"This is a dangerous individual," the prosecutor told Judge Amalia Meza.
Surveillance video in an alley behind Resendiz's home showed a man wearing shoes with a distinctive pattern walking in the area on the morning of one of the fires. Similar shoes were found during a search of the defendant's residence, according to authorities.
Defense attorney Joey Super, arguing for probation, said a psychological report showed that Resendiz has the verbal and intellectual functions of an 11-year-old.
The attorney said Resendiz had no prior criminal record and pointed out that no one was hurt in the arson fires.
Super said Resendiz also faces deportation as a result of his conviction.
But Meza said she was concerned that Resendiz continues to deny that he was responsible for the fires.
"He's in denial," the judge said. "(He) posed a real danger to the community in which he lived ... City Heights."