GLENDALE : Arson Case Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

A 35-year-old man pleaded not guilty Monday to an arson charge stemming from last December's fire in a California Federal Bank building, officials said.

Tobian Layne Wilson, a transient, entered his plea during an arraignment at Pasadena Superior Court, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Tamia Hope.

Judge Jack Tso scheduled a pretrial conference for June 14. If convicted, Wilson could receive up to eight years in state prison or a maximum $10,000 fine or both, Hope said.

Arson investigators suspect that Wilson set fire to a mattress on the second floor of the three-story California Federal Bank building, 158 S. Brand Blvd., on Dec. 18, Police Investigator Mark Stocks said.

Wilson was allegedly one of nearly 20 transients living on the abandoned office floor. The bank itself on the first floor and leased offices on the top floor incurred smoke damage, while flames gutted the middle level and caused $240,000 in damage, Stocks said.

Wilson was arrested April 27 after police found an eyewitness who is also a transient, Stocks said. He declined to release the witness' name.

Wilson was being held at Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles in lieu of $50,000 bail, officials said.

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