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Man convicted of starting boarding house fire, killing two

A man was convicted April 7 of starting a deadly fire at a Pasadena boarding house that killed two men in 2012, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Jurors deliberated for less than an hour before finding Garth Allen Robbins guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Cliff Juan Clark, 56, and Paul Richard Boyd, 75. They also found true the special circumstances of multiple murders and murder in the commission of arson of an inhabited structure.

Robbins, 54, set the house ablaze about 2 a.m. on Nov. 1, 2012, while 17 people were asleep inside. Prosecutors say he first doused his room in gasoline before setting it on fire. 

The property, which was zoned for single-family use, was operating as a boarding house in violation of local codes, according to officials. 

Robbins and 15 others residents escaped. Clark died from smoke inhalation inside the house. Boyd was transported to a local hospital, where he later died from his injuries, according to coroner’s records. 

Robbins faces life in state prison without the possibility of parole. He is scheduled to return to court June 7. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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