The man charged in connection with an arson fire at the Hollister Ranch in March will appear twice this week in the Lompoc division of Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
Defendant Edward Junior Macklin, 31, is scheduled to appear today for a pre-trial hearing, according to Sonia E. Balleste, chief deputy district attorney for the DA’s office based in Santa Maria.
And on Friday, Mr. Macklin is scheduled to appear on a defense motion to dismiss the case against him based on insufficient evidence presented at the defendant’s preliminary hearing, Chief DDA Balleste said.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. The information against him notes he also is known as Robert Kuzio Macklin, 29.
Mr. Macklin is charged with arson of a structure or forest, a felony, as someone “who did willfully, unlawfully and maliciously set fire to and burn … a structure or forest land located at 146 Hollister Ranch Road” on March 12, 2022, prosecutors said.
In connection with this count, Mr. Macklin faces a special allegation of committing arson with aggravating factors, as a firefighter, peace officer or other emergency personnel suffered great bodily injury as a result of the offense.
He also faces a special allegation of being a serious/violent/registerable sex offender, a felony. Mr. Macklin is accused of not registering as a sex offender. Prosecutors say this makes him ineligible for a state prison sentence to be served in the county jail.
In addition, he faces a special allegation because of aggravating factors in the case: that his prior convictions as an adult or sustained petitions in juvenile delinquency proceedings are numerous or of increasing seriousness; that he was on probation, mandatory supervision, mandatory supervision, post-release community supervision, or parole when the alleged arson was committed;and that his prior performance on probation, mandatory supervision, post-release community supervision or parole was unsatisfactory.
A second count against him alleges that on or about March 12, 2022, he committed the crime of trespass by entering and occupying, a misdemeanor, by illegally entering and occupying real property and a structure on Hollister Ranch without the consent of the owner.
The third count against him says that on or about March 12, 2022, Mr. Macklin possessed drug paraphernalia, an opium pipe or other device used for ingesting, inhaling or smoking a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.