Magalia arson suspect could face 25 to life

Nov 20, 2014 7:08 PM by News Staff

The man accused of starting a fire that destroyed a Magalia home Monday afternoon would be considered a serial arsonist if convicted, meaning he'd be required to serve at least 25 years in prison.

Matthew Ray Beard was arrested Monday night for allegedly using a chair and rug to start a fire in a mobile home on Carnegie Road. Beard had been staying as a guest in the home.

District Attorney Mike Ramsey told Action News Now that because Beard was convicted of an arson charge in Los Angeles in 2002 and plead guilty to a series of bomb threats in Chico in 2009, he would be considered a serial arsonist is found guilty.

The Magalia mobile home fire broke out around 2:15 p.m. Monday, the two residents escaped safely. Beard reportedly told a neighbor he was responsible for starting the blaze.


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