Student faces 30-year minimum in…

Student faces 30-year minimum in Hummer arson case

Lawyers for a Caltech graduate student accused of burning dozens of Hummers and other sport utility vehicles failed to convince a judge to throw out the most serious charge against their client Monday.

William Jensen Cottrell, 24, is charged with nine felony counts, including arson, conspiracy to commit arson, and the use of a destructive device in a violent crime. The last charge carries the most prison time with a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in federal prison. That is much longer than Cottrell would face if he were convicted of conspiracy and arson.

Thirty years for a crime where no one was hurt, where the only damage was to property? Murderers get less than that.