Monday, February 19 , 2018, 6:11 pm | A Few Clouds and Breezy 54º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Arson, Attempted Murder

The man accused of starting a fire at Santa Maria’s Town Center Hotel earlier this year pleaded not guilty Friday to arson and attempted-murder charges.

Amos Lee Andrews, 57, of Santa Maria has been charged with attempted murder, arson of an inhabited structure with use of accelerant, residential burglary and two additional counts of arson for setting fire in two separate dumpsters in a nearby area, Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens said.

Several people were injured in the fire, which was reported at the residential hotel at 215 N. Broadway shortly before 2:30 a.m. Oct. 12.

First responders made dramatic rescues to help people escape the flames and heavy smoke.

Some had to escape by ladders from the second floor and were hanging out the windows to escape the heavy smoke conditions inside, according to the Santa Maria Fire Department.

Seven people were taken to the hospital, and dozens of residents were displaced by the fire.

Jebens said some of the people living in the two-story portion of the building, which wasn’t as badly damaged, have moved back in.

Andrews was arraigned Friday in Santa Maria Superior Court and entered not-guilty pleas, Jebens said.

He remains in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail, and is due back in court Jan. 13.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >