Arsonist's accomplice enters guilty plea

The accomplice in a Hood River arson case pled guilty in Hood River Circuit Court on Monday.

Danielle Ford, 18, admitted to Circuit Court Judge Paul Crowley that she had driven Oscar J. Solario to and from his ex-girlfriend's house in February so that he could douse her car with gasoline and light it on fire. Ford said that she first "argued for hours" with Solario in an unsuccessful attempt to talk him out of that action.

"I understand it was poor judgment on my part," she said.

Ford remains under house arrest until her sentencing at 4 p.m. on April 29. Hood River District Attorney John Sewell said she most likely faces 60 days in jail for second degree arson, although his office has agreed for 30 days of that sentence to be spent in a community service program. In addition, Sewell is asking that Ford and Solario jointly pay $6,500 to replace the victim's car which was destroyed by the blaze.

Solario pled guilty to first degree arson in early March and is currently serving a 39-month prison sentence for that crime and another criminal mischief case from last fall where he smashed the rear window of a car with a rock.

Shortly after midnight on Feb. 11, Ford drove Solario to the Davis Drive neighborhood where Columba Jimenez resided with Solario's two small children, ages 2 and 3.

Ford waited in the vehicle while Solario carried a can of gasoline onto the Jimenez' property and doused her car. Then, Solario lit the vehicle on fire within 13 feet of the house before returning to Ford's car and hiding in the trunk while she drove away from the scene.

The car driven by Ford was witnessed leaving the area and she was pulled over while traveling eastbound on Interstate 84 a short time later. Solario said that he decided to burn Jimenez' car following a dispute over child visitation.

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