By Kalani Gaines
ALAMEDA – Dianna Silva, of Hayward, is being held on $260,000 bail for arson after her Alameda County Superior Court hearing this week—she’s accused of setting her mother’s RV residence on fire, with the mother’s three dogs dying inside.
Judge Delia Trevino presided over the hearing for Silva’s charge for arson of an inhabited structure or property, and revoked her felony probation for theft charges from both 2016 and 2017.
Assistant Public Defender Richard Foxall asked for Silva’s release in a disjointed argument, noting, “I do understand this involved allegedly lighting on fire an RV that I guess the family was using for their residence.” He went on to address the fact that three of the victim’s dogs had also perished in the fire.
“Largely what I’m seeing is theft related offenses which is not all that surprising because she is actually on probation for having access to a debit or credit card,” Foxall stated, “I think this is more or less out of character due to the family’s difficulties during this time.”
Deputy District Attorney Victoria Rios Reddick argued against the defendant being allowed back into the community because she is a safety risk, adding, “The allegation is that the defendant was upset with the victim, her mother, and she had indicated to her mother, ‘I’ll burn it down before I let you leave with it.’
“As the victim started to pack up her belongings, the defendant grabbed a gas can and started pouring (gas) around the RV and lit it on fire with a lighter. The defendant fled and the victim tried to put out the fire and according to the victim, as Mr. Foxall indicated, three of their dogs were inside of the RV and died as a result of the fire,” the DDA said.
According to Rios Reddick, Silva was not present at the scene when police arrived but stated “allegedly five days later, the victim’s son, who is also the defendant’s brother, called the police and stated that the defendant was present and that’s when she was arrested.”
Upon submission, Judge Trevino stated that she had reviewed the probable cause declaration by the Oakland Police Department, saying “it did indicate the same allegations Ms. Rios Reddick just recited about the case.” After hearing this, Silva became emotional and interrupted the end of Trevino’s sentence to exclaim, “I did not.” Foxall quickly reminded her that it was not her time to argue her case.
Judge Trevino conclusively found Silva to be a threat to the complaining witness and community, and set bail at $260,000 as requested by Rios Reddick. A criminal protective order for the victim and the area of the incident was issued as well.
Silva pled not guilty and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 13. As for the matter of Silva’s theft charges, probation was summarily revoked.
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