EL Cajon Businessman Pleads Not Guilty to Murder & Arson Charges

Struggling Ramona businessman, James A. Kurtenbach, is being prosecuted for murder and arson charges. Mr. Kurtenbach, 48, is accused of arranging his house to be burned down by one of his employees, Joseph Nesheiwat, who died in an explosion while burning down the rental home on Mount Woodson drive. Mr. Kurtenbach has plead not guilty to all charges.

San Diego County prosecutors allege Mr. Kurtenbach’s motive for burning down this home was do to financial troubles stemming from back property and other taxes on homes he owned. The home was insured for about $900,000 had he collected the insurance proceeds. He allegedly has overdue $39,543.21 in property taxes from 2006 on this home and $16,000 on another home in Poway in addition to $3 million dollars in unpaid sales taxes generated by his gas station business.

Trial is scheduled for January 12, 2010 at the El Cajon Courthouse. Witnesses are expected to testify that Mr. Kurtenbach made occasional statements about burning down the house. He is currently out on a $2 million dollar bond.

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