Ex-Marine Takes Plea Deal for String of NoHo Arson Fires, Was Convicted of Arson in Japan in 2001
An ex-Marine pleaded no contest today to being responsible for a series of arson fires that burned through cars and motor homes in North Hollywood during the summer of 2011.
Kurt Kaye Billie, 35, pleaded no contest to two counts of arson of an inhabited structure and one count of aggravated arson, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. As part of his plea, Billie admitted setting all 21 fires to vehicles and motor homes on July 21, July 24 and Aug. 2, 2011, in the North Hollywood area.
Billie was arrested in August 2011 was arrested when he was spotted setting a mobile home parked on the 7300 block of Farmdale Avenue.
The former Marine's past includes serving a stint behind bars in Japan for setting seven restaurants and bars on Okinawa in two separate arson attacks ablaze in 2001 when he was a 24-year-old Marine lance corporal stationed at Camp Hansen. He pleaded guilty to the charges, and was sentenced to five years. The impact of the arson fires posed significant enough strain on U.S. relations with Japan to prompt the military to explore possibly relocating the base.
In court today, Billie admitted his prior arson conviction in Japan.
Billie will be sentenced in Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys on May 6 and is expected to receive 10 years to life in prison.