A couple involved in the gender-reveal party that sparked the massive El Dorado fire in San Bernardino County last year has been sentenced after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors. The incident, which occurred in Yucaipa Park, resulted in the unintentional ignition of a 22,000-acre fire that claimed the life of U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighter Charles Morton, injured two other firefighters, and caused harm to 13 individuals. Additionally, the blaze destroyed five homes and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate.
Refugio Manuel Jimenez Jr., one of the individuals responsible for the ill-fated pyrotechnics, has been sentenced to a year in county jail, along with two years of felony probation and community service. Jimenez pleaded guilty to a felony count of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Morton’s death, as well as two felony counts of recklessly causing fire to an inhabited structure. Angelina Jimenez, the other party involved, pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of recklessly causing a fire to another’s property. She received a sentence of one year summary probation and community service.
As part of the plea deal, the Jimenezes have been ordered to pay restitution to the victims, totaling $1,789,972. San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson acknowledged that resolving the case would never be considered a victory, recognizing the immeasurable loss suffered by the victims. Anderson expressed hope that the resolution and restitution would aid in the healing process for those affected, providing some assistance in rebuilding their lives.