Security guard who accidentally started fire lucks out, gets no jail time

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A security guard charged with starting a fire inside the National Hispanic Cultural Center is not headed to jail.

Matthew Luxon was supposed to be on the job last March when he and some friends are accused of lighting fake joints inside the facility for a Snapchat photoshoot. The sprinkler system went off, causing more than $500,000 in damage.

Instead of taking Luxon to trial, prosecutors agreed to a diversion program. That’s for defendants with a minimal criminal history who are willing to appoint responsibility for their actions.

The restrictions are similar to probation or parole, but if Luxon completes the program, he will not have a conviction on his record. The District Attorney’s office says around 120 defendants are in the program right now, with a success rate of around 80%.

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