Crime

Former SLO High School student found guilty of arson, burglary

Mistrial declared for 1 of 4 counts

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - One of three former San Luis Obispo High School students accused of burning down the school's computer lab last December has been sentenced. 

20-year-old Jacob Lee Ruth was found guilty of two counts of burglary and one count of arson by a jury in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Monday afternoon. Ruth was found guilty of burning down a portable toilet on campus two days before the computer lab burned to the ground.

The jury was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of a guilty verdict for the second count of arson, which involved setting the computer lab on fire, but were unable to come up with a unanimous decision. Judge Jacquelyn Duffy declared a mistrial, and a new trial will take place. A trial setting conference has been scheduled for August 23.

The two burglary counts stem from breaking into the school and stealing from the school's concession stand. 

The courts will wait to sentence Ruth to the three counts he has been found guilty of until the trial for the second arson case is resolved. 

The other two men charged in this case, Cameron Bratcher and Michael Benadiba, are still awaiting trial. 


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