Man denies setting fatal Pasadena boarding house fire

PASADENA – A Pasadena man accused of setting fire to a boarding house pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to killing two fellow boarders and trying to kill the other tenants.
Garth Allen Robbins, 49, was charged with two counts of special circumstance murder, 15 counts of attempted murder, one count of arson causing great bodily injury and one count of arson of an inhabited structure, according to Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office.
Robbins was arraigned Tuesday at Pasadena Superior Court. His next court date is Dec. 4.
The criminal complaint alleges the arson was caused by a device designed to accelerate the fire.
Because prosecutors filed special circumstances of arson murder and multiple murders, Robison said Robbins will be held without bail. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty.
Cliff Juan Clark, 56, and Paul Richard Boyd, 75, were killed when an explosive fire broke out in the boarding house at 1385 El Sereno Ave. about 2:30 a.m. Nov. 1.
A third resident, 65-year-old Perry Simons, was badly burned and remains hospitalized.
There were 19 people living at the boarding house when the fire occurred.
Authorities said the fire started in Robbins’ room art the front of the home. He was arrested Nov. 2.

– Staff report

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