The 24 To Life episode ‘Desperate Measures’ follows the last day of freedom for former firefighter Benjamin Cunha, before he starts his five-year sentence for arson. It is the second time Cunha has been sentenced for wildland fire arson. Since 2008, he has “set over 30 fires in El Dorado and Amador Counties” in California. Cunha, who comes from a family of firefighters (his father and grandfather) confessed to using time-delay incendiary devices to start the fires. According to WildFireToday, his motive was “to overcome boredom, to earn overtime pay for fighting the fires, and to impress his peers.”
In addition to the five-year sentence, Cunha was ordered to pay $246,862 in restitution for CAL FIRE for the cost of fighting a mine fire in 2007. Cunha, 33, is married and the father of a four-month old girl named Avery. 24 To Life airs Wednesdays at 10pm on LMN.