Hearing continued for downtown arson suspect

Court waiting for psychiatric evaluations of David Pequeno.

The June 24 hearing for David Pequeno, the suspect of the downtown fires in November, was continued in order to receive a second psychiatric evaluation. Pequeno pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on May 13. The jury trial setting was scheduled for July 22 at 10:30 a.m.

According to court documents, Pequeno was charged with four felony counts for arson, six felony counts of vandalism, and seven misdemeanor counts of vandalism. According to the Hollister Police Department, Pequeno was arrested on Nov. 2, the same day of the fires which burned down Cheung Sheng Chinese Restaurant on the corner of East and Sixth streets, and She’s Consignments and Gifts and Faultline Tattoo on the corner of East and Fifth streets.

It’s also the day police officers responded to reports of slashed vehicle tires throughout Hollister, according to court documents. 

The court ordered on May 13 two psychiatric evaluations to be conducted by Dr. Lyn Mangiameli and Dr. Martin Williams. Mangiameli’s report was not submitted to the court and lawyers in time for the June 24 hearing.


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Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. A San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He also was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily.