A Mountain Ranch man will serve fewer than six years in state prison after pleading guilty to causing one of three fires he is suspected of starting in the area of Boards Crossing Road in Dorrington between Nov. 26 and Nov. 27 of 2020, as well as theft-related charges.
Carl Edward Morrison IV, 34, was arrested on Dec. 23, 2020, in the 16000 block of Joy Road in Mountain Ranch following a Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the three fires that resulted in the complete loss of one structure and damage to several acres of U.S. Forest Service land.
Several tips from the public and a photograph of a person resembling Morrison taken near the scene of the fires were used to identify him as a suspect.
Morrison was initially charged with one count of arson of an inhabited structure, two counts of recklessly causing a fire to a structure or forest land, one count of recklessly causing fire to an inhabited structure, two counts of first-degree residential burglary, one count of attempted unlawful taking of a vehicle, one count of vandalism, and enhancements for arson during a state of emergency.
On Oct. 8 at the Calaveras County Superior Court, Morrison pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree burglary, attempted unlawful taking of a vehicle, vandalism and recklessly causing fire to an inhabited structure. His other charges were dismissed.
Morrison has no prior criminal history in Calaveras County. He was sentenced to six years in prison by visiting judge Doris L. Shockley, with 290 days’ credit for time served and 288 days’ credit for good conduct.
In May of 2021, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation standardized the amount of Good Conduct Credit (GCC) by increasing the credit rate for eligible incarcerated people based on their conviction pursuant to emergency regulations. The change is authorized under the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016.