Father, son charged with starting wildfire plead not guilty

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In this Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, file photo, the Caldor Fire burns along both sides of Highway 50 as firefighters work to stop its eastward spread in Eldorado National Forest. David Scott Smith and his son, Travis Shane Smith, appeared in El Dorado County Superior Court, Friday, Dec. 10, where they pleaded not guilty to charges of starting the massive wildfire earlier this year. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)
PLACERVILLE (AP) – A father and son charged with starting a massive California wildfire that destroyed many homes and forced tens of thousands of people to flee Lake Tahoe communities earlier this year pleaded not guilty in court Friday, Dec. 10. The El Dorado County prosecutor’s office charged David Scott Smith, 66, and Travis Shane Smith, 32, with reckless arson. The office also charged the son with illegal conversion or manufacture of a machine gun and both men of illegal possession of a firearm silencer. The defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges, Emily Idleman, assistant to the chief of investigations in the district attorney’s office, said. The men were arrested Wednesday and remain in El Dorado County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail each. A bail reduction hearin
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