galleria fire

Galleria arson suspect pleads not guilty

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The Galleria arson suspect entered a not guilty plea Wednesday in federal court, his lawyer said Thursday. Alexander Piggee, 24, faces at least five and no more than 40 years in prison for two counts of arson – one at the mall, the other at a Wal-Mart on Antelope Road. Both fires took place Oct. 21. Piggee was transferred from a jail in Placer County to one in Sacramento County, which has an arrangement with the U.S. District Attorney in the region. The defendant’s move signals the shift of prosecution responsibilities from the Placer County District Attorney’s Office, which dropped charges Tuesday, up to federal prosecutors. The suspect is slated for a status conference on March 8 before U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez. ~ Staff report