Prosecutors said Alvarez was not suicidal, and that his intention that morning was to grab his wife’s attention. Dist. Atty. John Monaghan told jurors during closing arguments last week that Alvarez doused his car in gasoline to purposefully ignite a blaze, asking, “If you’re going to set yourself on fire, why waste gasoline putting it all over the vehicle?”
Jurors apparently agreed, finding that Alvarez “did willfully, unlawfully and maliciously set fire to his personal property, resulting in the burning of another’s personal property.”
Jubilant family members outside the courtroom said they were pleased with the verdict but divided on whether Alvarez should be put to death, exemplified by the family of Leonard Romero, who was killed in the 2005 crash.