October 4, 2023

A 31-year-old Vacaville man charged in three 2020 murders — two of them associated to a sequence of wildland fires that swept over elements of Solano County in August that 12 months — will face a newly scheduled preliminary listening to in March.

Victor Serriteno, who appeared Thursday morning in Division 9 for beforehand scheduled proceedings within the case, heard Decide Carlos R. Gutierrez set the listening to over  six days, at 10 a.m. March 6 to eight and March 13 to fifteen, in Division 8 within the Justice Heart in Fairfield.

The choose additionally set a readiness convention at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 26. Decide Wendy Getty will hear the case, famous Gutierrez, who is predicted to be reassigned to Household Courtroom after the brand new 12 months.

Victor Serriteno, 31, of Vacaville(Reporter file photograph) 

Seated on the protection desk, Serriteno, shackled, his head shaved, conferred together with his lead protection lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Felicia Carrington, and two different deputy public defenders, Michael A. Jue, and Payvand Afzali.

Solano County District Legal professional Krishna A. Abrams leads the prosecution in what could also be a death-penalty case. Whereas Serriteno is eligible for the dying penalty, if convicted, Abrams possible is not going to make a closing determination till after the March hearings, a sort-of minitrial, with the presentation of proof and testimony, and after the protection recordsdata “mitigation” paperwork about why Serriteno mustn’t obtain a dying sentence.

In July 2021 Serriteno pleaded not responsible in Solano County Superior Courtroom throughout his arraignment on two homicide and arson prices added to his present 2020 homicide cost in reference to killing a 32-year-old Vallejo lady in mid-August in Vacaville.

The felony case towards Serriteno gained widespread media consideration when the costs have been amended in late April 2021 after the Solano County Sheriff’s Workplace, working with CAL FIRE investigators, alleged he not solely killed Priscilla Castro but additionally set her physique on hearth within the wildland space between Solano and Napa counties. That blaze began the Markley Hearth, which joined the Hennessey Hearth, which later merged to grow to be the LNU Lightning Complicated hearth and led to the deaths of two males.

RELATED: Lethal Northern California wildfire was intentionally set to cowl up lady’s homicide

Courtroom data present Abrams filed the brand new prices towards Serriteno on the heels of an eight-month investigation and later appeared in court docket together with Carrington.

The extra prices elevated the case into particular circumstances territory and the potential of Abrams in search of the dying penalty. (A dying penalty case in California usually requires at the very least two attorneys to symbolize the accused.)

Serriteno’s newest court docket look comes greater than two years after Solano County Sheriff Tom Ferrara’s press convention concerning the monthslong investigation that decided the supply of the Markley Hearth was arson, and in an announcement on the time, mentioned “the 2 ensuing Solano County deaths from that fireside are actually thought of homicides.”

The Markley Hearth began on Aug. 18 within the Stebbins-Chilly Canyon space and merged with the Hennessey Hearth, which was later included within the general LNU Lightning Complicated.

Two hearth victims have been later discovered lifeless of their houses in unincorporated Solano County because of the fireplace: 82-year-old Douglas Mai, within the 7400 block of Pleasants Valley Street; and 64-year-old Leon “James” Bone, within the 7800 block of English Hills Street.

Priscilla Castro, 32 of Vallejo
Priscilla Castro, 32, of Vallejo (Vacaville Police Division/Fb) 

Moreover, Castro’s physique was found within the Stebbins-Chilly Canyon space, resulting in Serriteno’s arrest in mid-September 2020 in Santa Clara. He has been charged with three first-degree murders and stays within the Stanton Correctional Facility in Fairfield with out bail.

Sheriff’s officers have mentioned they imagine Serriteno intentionally set the Markley Hearth in an try to hide Castro’s dying.

In April 2021 Sheriff’s detectives arrested Serriteno in reference to the extra prices, together with homicide and arson, and Abrams added 4 further counts and three allegations towards Serriteno, together with “particular allegations,” which may lead prosecutors to hunt the dying penalty or a life sentence with out the potential of parole.

RELATED: Stranger reached out to Bay Space lady on-line. She was discovered lifeless in Northern California two weeks later, police say

Within the amended felony criticism, Serriteno, apart from the first-degree homicide of Castro, faces one depend of arson of an inhabited construction or property; arson throughout a state of emergency (as proclaimed by Gov. Gavin Newsom); two counts of first-degree homicide for the deaths of Mai and Bone; and the allegations that the murders have been dedicated throughout an arson and that Serriteno was beforehand convicted in 2015 of a previous strike: assault with a lethal weapon.

The Solano County DA’s Workplace filed its preliminary criticism towards Serriteno on Sept. 15, 2020, charging him with killing Castro on Aug. 16.

Police data point out that, on the night time of Aug. 18, Vacaville cops responded to a name of an deserted automobile within the 100 block of Bush Road, close to Andrews Park.

The automobile was linked to Castro and he or she was reported lacking hours earlier to the Oakland Police Division by involved members of the family who had been unable to succeed in her for 2 days, in keeping with a Vacaville Police Division assertion.

“Along with her cellphone off and no exercise on her social media account, her disappearance spurred the deployment of detectives that started an intense investigation searching for solutions,” Lt. Mark Donaldson mentioned within the press launch on the time.

Over the course of the investigation, detectives realized that Castro allegedly met with Serriteno on-line and had organized to satisfy in Vacaville for a date on Aug. 16.