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Bear Fire Arson Suspect Threatens Prosecutor In Courtroom

SANTA CRUZ (KPIX 5) – A not guilty plea -- and a menacing threat -- came from the man charged with starting the Bear Fire in Santa Cruz.

Marlon Coy, 54, who is accused of intentionally setting a fire that wound up hurting 13 firefighters was in court on Tuesday and he had quite the message for the man prosecuting him.

Marlon Coy, the man who prosecutors say started the Bear Creek Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains, issued an ominous threat during his first court appearance.

Coy could clearly be seen mouthing the words "You're next" to Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell, whose office will prosecute the case.

Rosell said, "Let's be honest. He started a fire that burned 300-plus acres and caused massive evacuations. That doesn't happen every day -- at least not in our county."

Investigators say witnesses told them Coy intentionally set the fire on a property off Bear Creek Canyon Road after an argument.

And as the flames spread and people were forced to evacuate, the sheriff's office says Coy then looted a home left empty because of the very fire that he allegedly started.

Despite his threat, the district attorney said that a man whose alleged actions had already hurt so many, would not intimidate him.

Rosell said, "It's arson. It's not an accident. And the message should be 'we're going to come after you if you do these kind of things in this county.'"

Coy is currently being held on $800,000 bond.

He faces arson and theft charges, among others and is scheduled to be back in court on Monday, December 4, 2017.

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