New trial ordered for relative of California arsonist

A California judge has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of tampering with the jury that convicted his brother-in-law of arson and murder stemming from a deadly wildfire.

The Press-Enterprise of Riverside reports the judge on Monday questioned whether Christopher Hillman was properly represented by his attorney in the first trial and then ordered a new trial for Hillman.

He is the brother-in-law of Raymond Lee Oyler, who was convicted last year of setting the 2006 Esperanza wildfire that killed five U.S. Forest Service firefighters and destroyed 34 homes in the San Jacinto Mountains.

Oyler is on death row.

Prosecutors say Hillman participated in a scheme to place fliers on the windows of juror's cars. He was convicted in July.

Information from: The Press-Enterprise

© 2010 The Associated Press.

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