General Crime

* Richard Strand Convicted For Vacaville Murder Of Gloria Faison In 2007

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A Solano County Superior Court jury has convicted a Vacaville man of first-degree murder and arson in connection with a house fire that killed his ex-girlfriend’s mother.Richard Lee Strand, 39, faces 75 years to life in prison when he is sentenced March 2, Deputy District Attorney Krishna Abrams said.Jurors deliberated for four days before reaching a verdict late Tuesday. Although they convicted Strand of the murder and arson charges, jurors found untrue a special-circumstance allegation that the murder was committed during an arson. Had the jury found that true, Strand could have been sentenced to life in prison without parole. Strand set fire to Gloria and Ronald Faison’s Anita Court home in Vacaville on July 8, 2007. Ronald Faison escaped the burning home but his 88-year-old wife died in the fire.Prosecutors alleged that Strand had threatened his ex-girlfriend Lisa, the Faisons’daughter, and her family after she broke up with him two days before the fire.Abrams said the most compelling and incriminating evidence was the fact Strand was seen on his bicycle near the burning home around the time of the fire, emptying gasoline out of a juice container. He was detained for possession of fireworks and a weapon and was arrested for the arson and murder later that day.An investigation revealed the fire started near the front door of the house.Abrams said Strand stalked Lisa Faison, beat her up and called her 80 times to threaten her and her family prior to the fire.”I’m relieved for the family and feel justice was done,” Abrams said. Defense attorney Thomas Gill did not return calls for comment today.

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