The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County
Derek Steven McCormack, 31, of Covelo, was sentenced Tuesday to state prison for an arson on the home of a Potter Valley family in August 2019.
McCormack in August of last year was convicted by plea in Mendocino County Superior Court of having committed arson of an inhabited residence, a felony. The defendant also admitted as true a sentencing enhancement that the arson was perpetrated during a declared fire state of emergency.
Judge Keith Faulder denied McCormack’s bid for a sentenced of supervised probation after having reviewed the Probation Department’s background study and sentencing recommendation which recommended a state prison commitment be imposed. The court also received a state prison recommendation following a diagnostic review by the staff at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The focus was on whether the defendant posed an unreasonable threat and danger to the community, an evaluation.
McCormack was sentenced to 108 months in the state penitentiary, the maximum allowed by law.
Because arson of an inhabited dwelling is characterized as a violent felony in the California Penal Code, the early release credits that the defendant may attempt to earn while incarcerated are limited by law to no more than 15% of the overall sentence.
When McCormack eventually completes his time and is released on parole supervision, he will be required to register annually for life with local law enforcement as a convicted arson offender.
The investigating law enforcement agencies that investigated and gathered the incriminating evidence against the defendant were the fire investigators from CALFIRE and the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, and the District Attorney’s own investigators.
The prosecutor was District Attorney David Eyster.