SLO High grad convicted of arson enters ‘open plea’, awaits sentencing

Posted at 7:03 PM, Jul 20, 2018

A San Luis Obispo High grad convicted of several charges related to a 2016 fire that destroyed the school’s computer lab has entered an open plea to arson.

Last year, Jacob Ruth was found guilty of breaking into a concession stand and a classroom at the school. He was also convicted of setting a campus portable toilet on fire. However, the jury deadlocked 11-1 on the arson of the computer lab, which caused $1.8 million in damage.

San Luis Obispo County Assistant District Attorney Eric Dobroth says on July 11, Ruth entered an open plea to the court related to the computer lab arson, meaning there was no agreement from the DA’s office on the sentence.

The court gave an indicated sentence of six years prison, to be suspended pending five years of formal probation. Mr. Ruth had substantial credit for time served in jail, said Dobroth. This means Ruth could end up spending little or no additional time behind bars.

Sentencing is set for August 6.

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