SAN BERNARDINO - For the fourth day in a row, defense lawyers in the 2003 Old Fire trial played audio recordings of sheriff deputies and a polygrapher's interviews with Rickie Lee Fowler about his knowledge about the deadly blaze.

In Monday's testimony in San Bernardino Superior Court, suspected arsonist Fowler said he wanted to take another polygraph test and answer questions about who started the Old Fire and what was used to light it.

Fowler, 30, of San Bernardino, is suspected of starting the 2003 Old Fire that burned more than 91,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 structures after starting on Oct. 25, 2003. The fire cost nearly $38 million.

The defendant has been charged with five counts of murder and special circumstances, which allow prosecutors to pursue the death penalty if he is convicted. Prosecutors say five residents in burn areas died from heart attacks caused by the stress of evacuation and threats to homes and belongings.

Fowler was told he failed the initial polygraph test, which was conducted on Feb. 13, 2004. The next day, Fowler volunteered to take another one - this time requesting that other questions be added to the test.

"You want me to ask you, `do you know for sure who started that fire,'?" polygrapher Robert Heard asked Fowler.

The defendant said yes, and was again hooked up to the machine. Heard asked essentially the same questions as before, but added inquiries about who and what started the Old Fire.

When asked if he knew for sure who started the fire, Fowler said no.

"I know you that you know who started the fire...am I correct?," Heard asked him.

"Yes," Fowler said.

"Are you willing to tell me who started the fire?," Heard asked.

"No," Fowler said.

The polygrapher also gave Fowler a list of objects and asked if the defendant knew for sure if one of those things was used to start the Old Fire.

That list of objects included matches, gas-soaked rags, a road flare, lighter fluid and a match, a burning cigarette, firecrackers, a burning cigar and burning papers.

When asked about them, Fowler answered "yes" to two of the objects questioned - a burning cigar and burning papers.

However, San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies said they found remnants of a road flare near the fire's origin - and believe that is what started the Old Fire.

In his opening statements, Supervising Deputy District Attorney Robert Bulloch said Fowler toyed with authorities during the investigation and shared only tidbits of information.

The defense is expected to continue with their witnesses today.

Reach Lori via email or call her at 909-483-9378.