June 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Bail-review today for the man accused of setting fire to an apt. complex in DTLA

Scales of JusticeA bail-review hearing will be held today for a 56- year-old man accused of setting fire to an under-construction apartment complex in downtown Los Angeles in December, starting a conflagration that melted freeway signs and damaged nearby buildings.

Dawud Abdulwali is charged with one felony count each of arson of a structure and aggravated arson stemming from the blaze that engulfed the Da Vinci complex near Temple Street and Fremont Avenue, near the Harbor (110) and Hollywood (101) freeways, on Dec. 8, 2014.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, an accelerant was used on the fourth floor of the seven-story complex, helping to rapidly spread the blaze.

Abdulwali is jailed in lieu of $1 million bail. If he posts bail, he will be required to surrender his passport.

Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney said last month that Abdulwali has traveled internationally at least twice since the fire and has a “somewhat significant criminal history,” with offenses including theft. He also said damages from the blaze were near $100 million.

Deputy Public Defender Mearl Lottman argued unsuccessfully at Abdulwali’s May 28 arraignment that the charges call for $500,000 bail, saying his client could be subjected to electronic monitoring.

Abdulwali faces 10 years to life in prison if convicted as charged, prosecutors said.

The Los Angeles man was arrested May 26 by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Anti-Terrorism Division in connection with the blaze, according to the LAPD.

The overnight fire caused $20 million to $30 million in damage to the Da Vinci apartment complex, according to the fire department. The 1.3 million- square-foot complex was largely in the framing stage, and at least two-thirds of the structure collapsed during the fire.

In addition to destroying most of the Da Vinci complex, the fire also damaged two nearby office towers owned by the city. Mayor Eric Garcetti said the fire caused about $50 million to $60 million in damage to city property.

Investigators announced 10 days after the fire that it was the result of arson, saying they had “recovered sufficient evidence to eliminate all known potential accidental causes and determine the fire was intentionally set.”

in Crime, News
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