Alleged King Fire Arsonist Faces Arraignment

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PLACERVILLE-

Wayne Allen Huntsman, the man accused of starting the King Fire, appeared in El Dorado County court Friday for his arraignment.

The 37-year-old from Pollock Pines pleaded not guilty for one count of felony forestland arson and a special allegation of arson with aggravating factors- injuries sustained by firefighters battling the blaze.

"I just had to come today, to see what type of monster would do this," evacuee Lorraine Barber said.

A call to the El Dorado District Attorney's office revealed Wayne Allen Huntsman also goes by the name "Chris" Huntsman.

Wayne or Chris Huntsman has a slew of felony convictions in the past, including assault with a deadly weapon, theft, vehicle theft, and receiving stolen property.

In March, 2014, FOX40 interviewed Huntsman. At the time, the now alleged arsonist claimed he was a victim of arson.

"This whole wall blew out," Huntsman said. "I was out back over here. And I got blown under my feet a little bit."

He said he survived a propane gas tank explosion that his neighbor started next door.

The DA's office said it cannot confirm if Huntsman was a victim of a March propane explosion at this time. Careful language, suggesting the investigation is far from over.

The DA said the arson threat is what prompted his office to issue a letter to the Governor earlier this year. He wanted Jerry Brown to sign an arson enhancement law, that would result in life sentences for those convicted of Arson.

"We're hoping that the Governor will take action on it, as soon as today, given that we are in the fourth year of a drought, and we're in the midst of fire season," El Dorado County District Attorney, Vern Pierson said.

Even if it was signed today, Huntsman would not be subject to the new law, because it was not signed before the crime was committed. Evacuees said they just hope for some sort of closure.

"My home is still standing; I'm very thankful for that," Barber said. "I have to brush off my knees, and just get started again. But it's going to take some time.

Huntsman is scheduled to appear in court October 28th at 8 a.m. at the El Dorado County Superior Court. His bail amount remains at $10 million.