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Arsonist Gets 27-Year Prison Sentence For Starting 2017 Bear Fire In Santa Cruz Mountains

SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF/AP) -- A Northern California man convicted of intentionally starting a 2017 Bear Fire in the Santa Cruz mountains that destroyed two homes and injured 13 firefighters has been sentenced to 27 years in prison.

KSBW-TV reported Marlon Coy was sentenced Thursday and ordered to pay more than $2 million in damages and restitution.

Marlon Coy
Marlon Coy (Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office)

Authorities say witnesses saw Coy start the fire on October 16, 2017 near a property in Santa Cruz County connected to someone with whom he had a dispute.

Officials said Coy was first arrested after he was spotted stealing from evacuated homes.

It took firefighters 10 days to contain the blaze that scorched 400 acres in the mountain range south of San Francisco and killed a pet cat.

On the first day of his trial in 2017, he was seen mouthing the words "you're next" to Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell.

As to whether Coy will ever be able to pay the $2 million in damages, Assistant District Attorney Michael McKinney told KSBW, "CDC (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) will make efforts to get that money back. So, any time money's put into his account or any time he earns money they will take some of that money and set aside for the victims."

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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