Prosecutors have filed more than 100 counts against the owner of a Pasadena house where two men died in an explosion and arson fire last November.
Jeanette Broussard, 74, was charged with 136 misdemeanor counts of operating an illegal boarding house — one count for each day she's being charged with operating the home as a boarding house.
For each day Broussard is charged with, she faces up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, Pasadena Assistant City Attorney Kimery Shelton tells KPCC.. Shelton said that Broussard could receive several years in jail and several thousand dollars in fines, depending how the judge rules. Broussard's arraignment was continued and is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Authorities say 20 people were living in the three-story residence when a fire broke out. Fifty-six-year-old Cliff Juan Clark and 75-year-old Paul Richard Boyd died in the fire. Garth Allen Robbins has pleaded not guilty to arson, murder and attempted murder charges. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
The case against Broussard is being brought as part of a broader crackdown on unlicensed boarding homes. The single family home where the fire took place is divided into 20 single-person rooms, Shelton said, which Shelton described as being similar to dorm rooms.
When investigating the home after the fire, authorities found 19 people living there and decided it was an illegal boarding home, Shelton said.
"This wasn't a big family of 20 people. These were 19 different individuals living in 19 different rooms," said Shelton.
Pasadena authorities have also filed 282 charges against duplex owner Eva Meyers and operator Nicholas Mnkandla for running an illegal boarding house and for the duplex having substandard living conditions. The arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 20.
"If you're doing these activities in violation of our Pasadena municipal codes, in violation of our zoning laws, in violation of health and safety conditions, then we will pursue these cases and we will prosecute you," Shelton said.