ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Case # 18CF0326
Date: January 30, 2018
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged with attempted murder and arson for setting fire to a tent with a homeless man and woman inside in Santa Ana.
Defendant: James Anthony Lawlor, 35, Santa Ana
Charged on Jan. 26, 2018, with the following felony counts:
- Attempted murder
- Arson of inhabited property
- Possession of flammable material
- Sentencing Enhancements
- Arson with accelerant
Maximum Sentence: Seven years to life in state prison
Continued arraignment: Feb. 6, 2018, 8:30 a.m. at Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana
Circumstances of the Case
- At the time of the crime, John Doe and Jane Doe lived in a tent near the defendant’s residence in Santa Ana.
- At approximately 8:20 a.m. on Jan. 19, 2018, Lawlor is accused of confronting John Doe outside of his tent and kicking the victim in the face.
- The defendant is accused of driving away in his truck and returning to the victims’ tent a short time later with a red gasoline can.
- Lawlor is further accused of pouring gasoline on John Doe and Jane Doe’s tent and lighting it on fire while both the victims were inside. The defendant is accused of then fleeing the scene.
- Santa Ana Police Department, who investigated this case, arrested Lawlor on Jan. 25, 2018.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Nichols, Special Prosecutions Unit
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Michelle Van Der Linden,Spokesperson