A 16-year-old Mountain View teen is being charged as an adult with felony arson in connection with the fire that destroyed a home on Fordham Way in March. If convicted, he could face a prison sentence of up to eight years.
Brett Dispoto was arraigned Friday in Santa Clara County Superior Court and is being housed in juvenile hall on $100,000 bail, according to Deputy District Attorney Bret Wasley, the prosecutor for the case.
Wasley said Dispoto was charged as an adult based on the seriousness of the crime, and because Dispoto allegedly fled the scene and did not call for help after starting the fire.
"(Running) just adds to the dangerous situation," Wasley said. "We always take into account remorse or actions taken after the committed crime."
Wasley said the decision also took into account Dispoto's record.
"We can't disclose his juvenile record, but based on who he is and the seriousness of the crime, he is being charged as an adult," Wasley said.
The DA's investigation found that Dispoto had lit some blouses on fire in the master bedroom closet of the Fordham Way home on the morning of March 16, according to Wasley. The fire got out of control and spread to the rafters, resulting in a two-alarm fire that destroyed the home.
Dispoto is set to appear back in court on May 22, where Wasley said he expects the teen to plead no contest to the felony arson charges.
Dispoto's attorney, Alan Lagod, was not immediately available by phone to comment.
Dispoto is one of the many teens investigated in the aftermath of several illicit house parties leading up to the fire. Police arrested 18 people -- including 16 juveniles -- on charges ranging from drug possession and sales to vehicle theft, burglary and arson.