RIVERSIDE – A fugitive wanted for setting an arson fire at a Menifee home in June that killed two animals has been located and arrested in Arizona.
Sean Joshua Halas, DOB: 8-23-68, of Menifee, was arrested on Sept. 8, 2020, by Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force Team 6, which includes District Attorney investigators, at a motel in Bullhead City, Arizona. Halas is currently in custody in Arizona awaiting extradition back to California.
Halas was on probation for an attempted second-degree murder conviction and had been out of custody for less than a week at the time of the arson.
The fire was reported the morning of June 24, 2020, at a home on Shoreline Drive in Menifee. CAL FIRE arson investigators determined that the cause of the fire was arson. Witnesses told authorities that a pickup truck was seen leaving the scene about 30 seconds before an explosion and fire at the rear of the residence. A dog and a bird were killed in the fire.
Arson investigators found that Halas had lived at the home prior to being convicted of attempted murder and had lived there again since being released from custody. Halas also drove a pickup matching the description of the one seen leaving just before the fire.
On July 31, 2020, a Riverside County Superior Court judge issued a warrant for the arrest of Halas in case SWF2000951. Halas is charged with arson and animal cruelty in that case.
Two days later, fire investigators contacted the DA’s Bureau of Investigation - Fugitive Apprehension Unit (FAU) requesting assistance in locating Halas. FAU investigators and Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force Team 6 determined Halas had fled California and believed he was in Arizona. With the help of the Arizona Violent Offender Task Force – Flagstaff Division, investigators found Halas at the Lodge by the River in Bullhead City where he was arrested without incident.
Halas was convicted by a Riverside County jury on Jan. 22, 2020, of attempted second-degree murder, domestic violence, and assault causing great bodily injury in case RIF1802592. At sentencing on June 18, 2020, our office asked that Halas be sentenced to nine years in prison. The judge sentenced Halas to 365 days in custody with credit for time served and three years of formal probation.
The Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force Team 6 is made up of senior investigators from the Riverside County DA’s Office, special agents from the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, and inspectors with the United States Marshal Service. Team 6 is one of 20 teams comprising the fugitive task force in a collaborative effort by southern region law enforcement agencies to apprehend fugitives from justice.