A man charged with starting a fire at an Irvine church after he allegedly became disgruntled with its teachings is set to appear in court again June 6 for a pretrial, according to court records.
Izad Chavoshan, 31, of Huntington Beach, is charged with three felony counts of arson and a hate crime sentence enhancement after allegedly setting trash cans ablaze in front of the Orange County Church of Christ in Irvine on three separate occasions from Oct. 15 to 19, 2009, according to the district attorney’s office.
During that period, Chavoshan is accused of waiting until church members left before dragging trash cans to the front of the church and setting them ablaze.
Chavoshan was arrested Oct. 21, 2009, after allegedly returning to the church to start another fire. He was arrested at the scene, after police began monitoring the church more closely in response to the previous fires started at the church.
On the day of his arrest, Chavoshan is accused of throwing trash cans against the glass, front doors of the church. That same night, he also allegedly attempted to slip a piece of paper that was set on fire through the closed church doors.
Chavoshan is believed to have disagreed with church teachings after being a member there. He has a prior strike against him for criminal threats in 1998, according to the news release.
He appeared before the court Monday in a pretrial hearing at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana. His pretrial date has been continued to June 6, and his jury trial is now set for Aug. 2, according to the court reporter for the courtroom.
If convicted, Chavoshan faces up to 20 years in prison.
— Lauren Williams