Friday Feb 05 2010
Three arrested for Colfax arson fires
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
Four fires in one day destroyed property
Cal Fire officials arrested three adults this week in connection with four arson fires started in Colfax over the summer. On Friday, Bill Mendonca, Cal Fire investigator, said officials made the arrests Thursday afternoon after a witness came forward to Placer County Sheriff’s detectives. Julius Dylan Leon Bagley, 26, Cheyenne Michelle Brady, 20, and Jasmine Courtney Marlar, 19, were all booked into Placer County Jail on charges of aggravated arson and conspiracy to commit a crime. Mendonca said the suspects are from Colfax, Foresthill and Grass Valley. Marlar and Brady are being held on $500,000 bail while Bagley’s bail was set at $545,000. “We knew for certain at the time that it was arson,” Mendonca said Friday. “Then last week we had a witness come forward about possible suspects. We interviewed those people yesterday afternoon and after the interview we arrested them for arson.” The three suspects allegedly set four different fires throughout Colfax on July 20. A portable bathroom and garbage can were set on fire at Colfax High School and two Dumpsters were ignited at Colfax Elementary School, Mendonca said. The suspects also allegedly lit bathrooms at Bear River and Mineral Bar campgrounds on fire. Mendonca said the fires self-extinguished except for one started at a Mineral Bar bathroom. About a half-acre of vegetation caught fire and firefighters responded in time to put it out, Mendonca said. Mendonca said there was superficial damage to the Bear River bathroom and one Mineral Bar facility while another Mineral Bar restrooms was “completely destroyed.” No injuries were reported as a result of any of the fires. Mendonca said he was not sure of the relationship between the witness and the suspects. He said the three in custody face the possiblility of being charged with nine separate arson crimes, which could include “significant” state prison time. Mendonca said “there is no reason to believe” that the three arrested were involved with other fires started over the summer including the 643-acre Mammoth Fire in Foresthill and 49 Fire in Auburn that 63 destroyed homes and two businesses. Jenifer Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.