Public defender's office recuses itself from San Jose Home Depot arson case

It will be at least another month before the suspect in that massive Home Depot fire in San Jose enters a plea in the case.

At a court hearing on Wednesday the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s office recused itself and the prime suspect will get a new attorney.

The suspect in this case has been held in jail without bail since his arrest shortly after the fire on April 9th.

Appearing in a green jail jumpsuit, Dyllin Jaycruz Gogue, 27, spoke to his attorneys but made no statements to the court.

Gogue is facing at least 30 charges including multiple counts of arson for this massive blaze at a Home Depot store on Blossom Hill Road in south San Jose. 

Prosecutors allege Gogue intentionally set the fire to cover up the theft of tools and, in the process, created a great danger to the public.

"It was a Saturday afternoon with families and employees and people working so my office is very much dedicated to prosecuting this case to the fullest extent," said Eunice Lee, the Deputy District Attorney who is prosecuting the case.

The fire ultimately went to five alarms and the loss in inventory alone was estimated by investigators at about $17 million.

The public defender’s office told Superior Court judge, Hon. Jose Franco, that it would recuse itself in this case and assign the case to what is called the "alternate defender."

In court the public defender did not outline the nature of the conflict, but prosecutors say this is not unusual in complex criminal cases.

"So this is a common procedural happening where there are a lot of charges and witnesses so for various reasons the public defender felt they can’t represent this person so a conflict was declared," prosecutor Eunice Lee said.

Gogue faces a potential life sentence if he is convicted on all the charges he is facing. He is expected back in court, with his new attorneys, on June 29th.