LOS ANGELES (AP) Three men pleaded not guilty Friday to causing a wildfire that destroyed 50 homes in Malibu, and their lawyers said outside court they were being made scapegoats by an outraged community.
Attorneys entered not guilty pleas for Brian David Franks, 27; William Thomas Coppock, 23; and Brian Alan Anderson, 22, all of Los Angeles.
They are among five men who have been charged with recklessly causing a Nov. 24 fire that swept through 4,000 acres of Malibu canyon land. Six firefighters were hurt battling the blaze, and 50 homes and 35 other buildings were destroyed.
Dean Allen Lavorante, 19, and Eric Matthew Ullman, 18, face arraignment in February. They and Anderson are free on bail.