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Turlock landlord convicted of arson
Attempted murder charges dropped
george nazar
George Nazar

A Turlock landlord originally accused of attempted murder for trying to burn down a trailer while it was occupied by his tenants, has reached a plea deal with the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office that has him headed to jail for arson.

The district attorney’s office filed an amended complaint against George Nazar, 52, for the fire he ignited on July 27, 2014 at his property in the 400 block of N. Verduga Road in Turlock. The amended complaint charged Nazar with one count of arson of an inhabited structure and dropped the three charges of attempted murder.

Nazar entered a no contest plea to the arson charge on Tuesday in Stanislaus County Superior Court. A judge sentenced him to serve one year in the county jail, as well as a five year suspended prison sentence. He also has a five year formal probation period and will have to register as an arsonist for the rest of his life, according to the district attorney’s office.

Nazar and his tenants had been involved in an ongoing dispute and he had made threats to kick them out during previous encounters. On the day of the incident the tenants had made a call to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department claiming Nazar had threatened to set the trailer they were living in on fire. It wasn’t long after the call that the tenants noticed the flames starting to flare up around the trailer.

The three tenants in the trailer were able to escape unscathed and contacted the Denair Fire Department, but the fire department had to hold off on fighting the blaze because there were reports Nazar was armed. Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene.

As the fire burned unchecked through the trailer and another outbuilding, Nazar locked himself inside his home and refused to comply with the deputies’ orders. Deputies spoke with Nazar over the phone and after about an hour convinced him to surrender.

The same property on Verduga was the scene of a fatal shooting in 2012, when William Nazar, George Nazar’s brother, was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy after barricading himself in the home and shooting at deputies.

Nazar was not armed at the time of his arrest.

Part of the plea deal requires Nazar have no contact with the victims for five years and remain at least 100 yards away from them at all times. He was also ordered to pay them restitution, the amount of which will be determined by the Probation Department. Nazar has paid $10,000 so far, said district attorney spokesperson Teresa Clayton.

Nazar also must comply with any mental health counseling required by the Probation Department and take any medications as prescribed by a physician. 

The district attorney’s office said the tenants agreed to the details of the plea deal.