Arsonist Takes Plea Deal, Will Face 40 Years To Life In Prison

A Cottonwood arsonist has decided to plead guilty to first degree murder and five counts of arson of an inhabited dwelling. 20-year-old Samuel Scholfield set numerous fires between July 27th and October 26th of 2018 to vegetation and structures, including the home of 86-year-old Barcie Miller. She perished in the fire, leading to the murder charge for Scholfield. His home was central to the original cluster of arson fires. The series of suspicious fires in the Cottonwood area stopped when he was pulled over near a burning house in Anderson in the early morning of October 26th. He had two incendiary devices sitting on the front seat next to him. His cell phone showed he had been searching the Internet for arson related material. Scholfield entered his guilty pleas in court Monday. They include an enhancement because the area was in a state of emergency from the Carr Fire at the time. With the plea deal, he will be sentenced to 40 years 8 months to life in state prison.