A convicted felon and a probationer were ordered Thursday to stand trial on arson charges for allegedly igniting a pile of debris next to a Jurupa Valley business, causing a secondary fire that damaged the structure.

Jonathan Scott Howard and Samuel Allen King, both 31, were arrested in March following a joint investigation by Cal Fire and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

At the end of a preliminary hearing in which only one witness, a law enforcement officer, was called, Superior Court Judge O.G. Magno found there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for both defendants on two counts of arson. Magno scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Aug. 8 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.

Howard is being held in lieu of $55,000 bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside; King is being held on $35,000 bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

The defendants allegedly set a debris pile aflame next to a building in the area of Mission and Rubidoux boulevards on the afternoon of March 19.

Evidence collected at the scene pointed to Howard and King as the alleged perpetrators, and they were located and taken into custody without incident that afternoon, in the same general area, according to Cal Fire investigators.

Court records show that Howard has prior convictions for elder abuse, theft, intimidating operators of a business, trespassing and resisting arrest. He has served time in state prison within the last five years.

King has prior misdemeanor convictions for carrying a concealed weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia and petty theft, according to court documents.

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