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Clover Fire suspect gets new attorney

Published On: Apr 16 2014 12:23:01 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 16 2014 12:51:03 AM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

The man accused of starting the Clover Fire has new legal representation.

Shon Northam was appointed in Shasta County Court Tuesday to represent Zane Peterson after Peterson's previous lawyer declared a conflict of interest.

Northam is also the attorney representing Quentin Bealer, the man accused of killing Red Bluff teen Marysa Nichols.

But Northam says he has a lot of work to do to prepare for the Peterson case.

"I do understand that the reports are voluminous. There's apparently a stack of reports about a foot tall," said Northam. "I'm looking forward to getting that from the public defender and diving into this case."

Peterson is charged with dozens of counts of arson and one count of murder. Brian Henry died in that fire trying to defend his property.

Northam says the case will be a challenging one, but it's important that Peterson get a proper defense.

"Every defendant is entitled to due process," said Northam. "Justice is blind, whether you're a victim or a suspect, it doesn't matter. Everyone is entitled to fair treatment under the law."

The Clover Fire burned more than 8,000 acres and destroyed more than 60 homes last September.