Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

‘No contest’ to arson

By
From page A1 | January 30, 2013 | 7 Comments

A woman accused of burning down a house and endangering her son in the process pleaded no contest in court Monday morning.

After deputy district attorney Vicki Ashworth amended the criminal complaint against Rachel Wentz to have the first count be for arson of forest lands or a house, uninhabited, Wentz plead no contest the charge, as well as a charge of child endangerment or abuse.

After changing her plea, El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister read her sentence: Five years of formal probation following 210 days in jail at the half-time rate, along with a life-time ban on firearms. She will have to submit to search and seizure by any peace officer at any time and has a restriction on alcohol. She will have to attend any mental health counseling that is recommended to her and take any prescription drugs that are prescribed to her. She will be required to register as having been involved in an arson, a list she will be on for the rest of her life. She will also have to take a one-year parenting class and pay court fines and fees.

The charges came after Wentz, 29, burned down a Garden Valley home on Oct. 29, with a special allegation that a device designed to accelerate the fire was used. Her son, according to the original charge, was in the house at the time, but escaped the fire.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 7 comments

  • Pam HaskillJanuary 30, 2013 - 7:18 am

    I guess everyone should get a second chance in life. However, I don't think the punishment fit the crime here. Parenting classes, how about no contact with her child ever!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Georgetown ResidentJanuary 30, 2013 - 9:15 am

    The charges in this case are absurd. This woman tried to burn her house down with her infant son in it. I don’t care what the deal the DA worked out. Aside from having no contact with the child she should be spending prison time for attempted murder. Who sets their own house on fire with their helpless child inside? The answer is nobody who deserves to have a child. I just hope the father of the child does the right thing.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CatherineJanuary 30, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    It says she'll need to take meds and attend talk therapy if these are recommended. Recommended by whom? Has this recommendation been made? What is the process for weekly oversight? Probation and parenting classes have little value if the woman has a psychosis disorder, or if she's been addicted to something serious like meth. She needs frequent monitoring and support. It sounds like this is what the judge plans, but it's unclear how that will be implemented.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CMJanuary 30, 2013 - 7:13 pm

    I think that before people start making comments they need to understand that both the DA and defense counsel need to come to an agreement on an offer. This is actually a great deal on both sides as far as I can see. She is being supervised and will be formally for 5 years and then will be required to register annually for life. How about the fact that no one died and she would not get this kind of supervision in prison and it would cause only further damage. Plus the prisons are so full they are sending people to their local probation departments to be supervised (look up Post Release Community Supervision) who do not fit their incarceration requirements. And no, I'm not a lawyer, but look it up people. This girl is getting a second chance at a real life and a chance at redemption

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CatherineJanuary 30, 2013 - 7:44 pm

    CM, I didn't make clear that I think the judge made the right call, if there's actually a plan. I'm all for people who are ill getting medical help. She will need very close support, though, as in weekly, not monthly, as most probation is managed.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SHJanuary 31, 2013 - 10:15 am

    So she attempts to murder her son by burning him to death in an arson fire....and she gets probation and parenting classes? Really? WTF is wrong with the DA for accepting this? "..have the first count be for arson of forest lands or a house, uninhabited" Um it was inhabited - by her son. She was trying to kill him, that was the point.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • GGJanuary 31, 2013 - 6:55 pm

    I have to say while following this case, I am shocked that parenting classes are in the works. Sounds like to me she will be able to get her son back? If starting a fire on purpose with your son in the house is not a warning sign, what is?? I am sure there are some kinds of mental health concerns, but is a childs life worth taking that chance? If there is enough concern for a lifetime gun ban, I would think the life of the child would be protected better as well. It is sickening that the State does not do a better job protecting our most vunerable.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 19 Comments

Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 76 Comments

Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments