SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — On Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, a San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge sentenced Bradley Norman Parrish (07/18/1969) to serve 25 years to life in state prison for his conviction of aggravated arson with four previous convictions for arson.
During a week-long trial, jurors heard evidence that on Jun. 13, 2022, Parrish, a resident of San Luis Obispo, intentionally set a fire in the creek area near the Elks Lodge in San Luis Obispo. Two good Samaritans saw the smoke and responded from the Elks Lodge to contain the out of control fire. When one of the men grabbed a shovel to extinguish the fire, he was confronted by Parrish who dissuaded him by stating that if he did not have the shovel Parrish would fight him. San Luis Obispo Fire Department arrived on scene and put out the rapidly spreading fire before it threatened any structures.
After the jury’s verdict, Parrish waived his right to a jury trial on his prior convictions. The trial court found that Parrish had been previously convicted of four separate arson offenses in 1994, 2005, 2018 and 2019. Three of the four prior convictions are considered “strike” offenses under California’s Three Strikes Sentencing Law. Because this was Parrish’s fourth “strike” offense, he received a sentence of 25 years to life. Prior to sentencing, the judge denied a defense request to dismiss two of the prior strikes, which would have resulted in a sentence of less than 25 to life.
The case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo Police Department and the San Luis Obispo Fire Department and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitzpatrick, who is assigned to the District Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit and also specializes in the prosecution of arson cases.