We have previously discussed how people seem incapable of resisting selfies even at the scenes of disasters or while driving (before accidents) or during environmental tragedies but some selfie are not just inappropriate but incriminating. That is the case with Wayne Huntsman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to starting the King Fire in 2014, which burned a dozen homes and nearly 100,000 acres in the central Sierra Nevada. The key evidence was the selfie taken above at the origin of the fire.
Huntsman, 37, was also ordered to pay $60 million in restitution. Something tells me that he is likely to fall short.
The video was recorded on Sept. 13, 2014, and showed Huntsman standing in a forested area between two separately lit blazes. On the video, Huntsman says “I’m stuck in the middle” but shows little fear.
A retired firefighter picked up Wayne Huntsman and saw Wayne Huntsman’s selfie. He recorded it on his own phone, then turned over his video over to law enforcement officials. Huntsman was arrested four days later.
That was not the extent of Huntsman’s problems with video evidence. He was also caught on surveillance video stealing liquor from a local grocery store after the fire was set.
Adding to the bizarre facts of the case is a family that is a true train wreck. Huntsman’s sister is accused of murdering two children. Tami Huntsman, 39, was living in Salinas in a small apartment with an estimated ten people. Tami Huntsman’s husband said he left the apartment when Tami began having a sexual relationship with an underage, 17-year-old boy, Gonzalo Curiel.
Tami Huntsman, who is currently pregnant, and Curiel are in their respective murder trials for torturing and murdering 3-year-old Delylah Tara and 6-year-old Shaun Tara. The two children were found dead in a storage locker some 300 miles away and showed extensive child abuse.
What a family.