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Cottonwood man pleads guilty to arson, murder charges

A Cottonwood man has pleaded guilty to charges of arson and murder during a state of emergency in 2018.

Posted: Oct 20, 2020 2:34 PM

COTTONWOOD, Calif. – A Cottonwood man pleaded guilty to charges of arson and murder during a state of emergency in 2018.

Prosecutors say 20-year-old Samuel Scholfield will receive a sentence of 40 years, eight months to life in state prison in exchange for his plea.

Scholfield admitted to setting multiple fires that burned homes and structures throughout Cottonwood and Anderson between July and October of 2018. One of the fires burned a home killing 86-year-old Barcie Arlene Miller, of Cottonwood.

These fires were set while Shasta County was in a state of emergency due to the Carr Fire.

On October 26, 2018, law enforcement conducted a traffic stop as Scholfield was leaving his last arson fire. Authorities said he was the sole occupant of the vehicle and had two incendiary devices in his front seat. A cell phone search revealed that he had been searching the internet for arson and arson investigation related material, according to the DA.

Scholfield will be formally sentenced on December 10, 2020 at the Shasta County Superior Court.

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