A South Pas man accused of setting or trying to set a series of fires in South Pasadena, Pasadena and Los Angeles pleaded not guilty Monday to 18 felony counts.
Javier Adolfo Viera, 35, is charged with 10 counts of arson of a structure or forest, six counts of arson of property of another and two counts of attempting or aiding in an attempt to burn a structure, forest or property.
He is due back in court on June 5, when a date will be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
Viera is suspected in 21 arson/attempted arson incidents in South Pasadena, four in Pasadena and one in Los Angeles since mid-November. The incidents started as small vegetation fires and escalated to blazes set under or involving parked vehicles, and one involving the exterior door to a business.
A break in the case came when fingerprints were recovered from an incendiary device that did not burn completely, police said.
Viera was under surveillance by detectives when he was arrested April 21 in connection with a car fire in Los Angeles, according to police.
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