Cottonwood Arson Suspect Makes First Court Appearance

Samuel Scholfield faces dozens of charges for setting more than 40 fires in Shasta County.

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 7:26 PM
Updated: Oct 31, 2018 11:18 AM

SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. - The man police say set several fires in Cottonwood and Anderson was arraigned in a Shasta County courtroom Tuesday.

Samuel Scholfield, 18, faces dozens of charges for setting more than 40 fires including one that killed 86-year-old Barcie Arlene Miller on Oct. 7.

Miller’s family members, as well as the defendant and his family, were in tears as the charges were read off.

Scholfield faces more than 50 charges including first-degree murder, attempted murder and arson with enhancements for setting a fire during a state of emergency.

“At the time, our county, as everyone knows was devastated by the Carr Fire,” said Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett.  “And we were and still are in a state of emergency related to that. And the penal code allows for an enhancement if someone commits an arson during a state of emergency.”

Investigators arrested Scholfield Friday leaving the scene of one four fires he’s accused of setting in Anderson.

They say they found two incendiary devices on him at that time, and a search of his cell phone turned up internet searches for material related to arson and arson investigations.

A judge denied Schofield bail.

If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

He's expected back in court Nov. 13.

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