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Yosemite Lakes arsonist up for parole hearing

Madera DA collects letters in opposition of releasing Kenneth Jackson

David Linn, Madera County District Attorney, held an event at a home in Coarsegold to collect letters opposing the potential release of arsonist Kenneth Jackson in August.
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David Linn, Madera County District Attorney, held an event at a home in Coarsegold to collect letters opposing the potential release of arsonist Kenneth Jackson in August.

One of two convicted arsonists who lit a string of terrifying fires in the Yosemite Lakes Park area four years ago will soon be up for parole, Madera County District David Linn said.

Kenneth Allen Jackson, along with Allison Waterman, both of Yosemite Lakes Park, were found guilty of arson for their involvement in a rash of at least 31 fires between June 8 and June 25, 2013.

Linn said the Board of Parole Hearings will conduct an administrative review next month to determine if Jackson should be released from prison. He said, in a release issued Monday, that because Jackson is a nonviolent felon, he is eligible for early release given the passage of Proposition 57 in California last year.

Jackson was found guilty on 21 counts of arson (20 counts of arson of wildlands and one count of arson of an inhabited structure). Waterman was found guilty of six counts of arson of wildlands. In August of 2014, Jackson, then 41, was sentenced to 30 years and eight months in prison, while Waterman received 10 years, eight months behind bars.

Linn has been working with Cal Fire in reviewing the file, and requests that any victims of the fires contact his victim services specialist, Taguhi Bableyan at (559) 675-7726.

“This case has been under review by the California Fifth Appellate District of California, for alleged constitutional violations committed by the prior prosecution team in 2013 and early 2014,” Linn said in a prepared statement.

In Monday’s release, Linn clarified Jackson was convicted by his predecessor Michael Keitz, with prosecution led by then-Deputy District Attorney Sally Moreno. Moreno is challenging Linn for the seat of Madera County District Attorney next year.

According to Linn, due to the passage of Proposition 57, the DA’s office is limited to one letter to be delivered in opposition to Jackson’s release. This letter will be completed by the end of the month.

Linn has also requested victims to contact Bableyan so they can send letters for potential use in the opposition letter about Jackson.

Linn has also scheduled a meeting for 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 26 at 28464 Margaret Road in Coarsegold for victims to meet with himself, Bableyan, and investigators about the case.

Waterman is being held in the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, while Jackson is in California State Prison Solano.

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