A 41-year-old Vancouver man was sentenced Monday in Clark County Superior Court to 17 months’ prison for setting fire first to his apartment and, three days later, to his room at the Hazel Dell Quality Inn.
Through a Spanish-language interpreter, Angel Torres-Reyna pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of second-degree arson and one count of third-degree assault in exchange for reduced charges. He was originally charged with two counts of first-degree arson and one count of third-degree assault. A first-degree arson conviction would have involved a longer prison sentence.
The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office made the plea agreement because prosecutors were uncertain they would prevail had the two arson cases been tried separately, said Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein. A plea agreement also saves the expense of a trial, or possibly two, in this case.
“It was a tactical move, and the sentence was not much less than he would have gotten in trial,” Klein said.
Seventeen months in prison is the maximum sentence for second-degree arson; a first-degree arson conviction would have added about nine to 17 months, Klein said.