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Jefferson City man found guilty of setting store on fire sentenced to 7 years in prison

A Jefferson City man found guilty of setting a sporting goods store on fire in 2011 was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday.

ABC 17 News has been following 55-year-old Kurt Steidley’s case since 2011, when the Everhart’s sporting goods store went up in flames in Jefferson City.

Everhart’s was located at on the 2400 block of Missouri Boulevard andwas not in operation at the time of the blaze. The storehad been closed since December 24, 2010.

On Wednesday, a judge sentenced Steidley to seven years in prison. The judge also ruled that Steidley may post an appeal bond of $250,000. That means, if Steidley posts that bond, he will be released from custody until the western district appellate court decides on his appeal.

A jury convicted Steidley in Cole County in September after seven days of trial.

During the trial, the jury saw video of investigators questioning Steidley. He recounted the weeks leading up to the closing of his business and the time when he got a call from his sister saying the business was on fire.

He described in detail each phone call he made and received after finding out his building had burned.

Prosecutor Mark Richardson also asked him to take the court through everything he did the day following the fire step-by-step.

A plumber who had contact with Steidley also took the stand Monday.

His testimony was important because of a phone call between him and Steidley.

The prosecution said Steidley knew about the fire before it happened.

Steidley went to trial twice on the arson charges.

A different Cole County jury also convicted Steidley of second degree arson on January 13, 2014. Steidley was scheduled to be sentenced March 12, 2014, but his defense attorney asked for a retrial that day. Steidley’s attorney said there was a disclosure violation during the original trial. Cole County Judge Daniel Green took the motion for a new trial under advisement that day.

He later ordered a new trial for Steidley saying,”The court finds that the court erred in failing to grant a remedy to the defendant on the second occasion that the defendant’s previously undisclosed statement was mentioned by the state resulting in prejudice to the defendant.”

ABC 17 news will have a crew in the court Wednesday during Steidley’s sentencing. we will update this story as soon as the sentence is announced.

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