Yakima County Courthouse

FILE — The Yakima County Courthouse.

A Selah man accused in a string of arsons in Yakima last year will be sentenced in September.

Ronald Edward Taylor was to have been sentenced on charges of first- and second-degree arson and first-degree reckless burning Friday, but the hearing was postponed until Sept. 12. No further information was available on why the hearing was moved.

Taylor, 22, entered an Alford plea on the charges in June. In return, prosecutors dropped a charge of first-degree arson and attempted second-degree escape for a June 27, 2018, attempt to break out of the Yakima County jail.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant continues to maintain his or her innocence while acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to persuade a jury to convict them.

Yakima firefighters were called out to four fires within a few blocks of each other on the morning of March 4, 2018. Investigators said the fires, set at two abandoned houses, El Nayarita Mexican Restaurant and a garbage dumpster outside an apartment complex in the 800 block of North Sixth Avenue, were lit within a few minutes of one another.

Surveillance video led fire department and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigators to Taylor, who court records show was out on pretrial release after being charged with failing to register as a sex offender. He had been convicted of first-degree child molestation and commercial sex abuse of a minor in 2010 in Lewis County Superior Court, according to court documents.

Taylor also pleaded guilty to failing to register and will be sentenced for that on Sept. 12.

Authorities say Taylor was convicted of five reckless burning counts in 2017.

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Reach Donald W. Meyers at dmeyers@yakimaherald.com.