A man who set fire to an inhabited home at a Desert Hot Springs mobile home park and threatened a man and his wife was free from jail on parole Wednesday after pleading guilty to three felony charges.
Michael Eric McPeters, 49, pleaded guilty to one felony count each for the attempted murder of “James G.,” making criminal threats to “Annette V.,” and arson of an inhabited structure Monday at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, according to court records. He also admitted to an allegation of causing multiple structures to burn.
According to court records, McPeters was immediately sentenced to seven years and eight months in state prison, but “his credit for time served exceeded his sentence so he was released on parole,” Riverside County Superior Court public information officer Marita Ford told City News Service.
On June 3, 2016, McPeters set fire to James and Annette’s home, causing other structures within its vicinity to burn, according to court records.
The fire, which was reported at 4:52 p.m. that day at Palm Drive Mobile Estates, caused an estimated $40,000 in damage. Flames spread by strong winds prompted residents living downwind of the fire to evacuate.
More than 30 firefighters were dispatched to the scene, one of whom was evaluated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, according to Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department. Crews contained the fire by 5:48 p.m. and remained on scene for several hours.
McPeters was arrested the day of the fire and had been awaiting trial for years before pleading guilty at Monday’s mandatory settlement conference. He has no prior felony convictions in Riverside County.