Union-Bulletin Court Report

A man who admitted to causing a fire that damaged a home last August was sentenced Monday in court.

Steven C. Morgan, 60, who has no permanent address, was ordered to six months of residential drug offender setencing alternative, two years of community custody — a form of probation — $500 in fines and fees, and a to-be-determined restitution. The sentence also included having no contact with the victim for five years and credit for 212 days in jail.

Attorneys on both sides said they negotiated and determined he should receive a lesser offender score to qualify him for treatment. Judge Scott Wolfram granted their recommendations.

Morgan pleaded guilty in March to first-degree reckless burning. His charges were amended from the original, which also included violating a protection order.

The fire occurred on Aug. 11, 2018, in the 600 block of Cardinal Drive. He was arrested shortly after the fire, during which four people in the home escaped unharmed. One of the occupants, who had been in a relationship with Morgan, told officers that Morgan was recently forced to move out of the home and had made threats about burning down the house, records stated.

Police also said surveillance video at a nearby home showed someone who matched Morgan’s description carrying what appeared to be a plastic bag going into the yard, crouching and then running away without the bag, records stated. Shortly after, the video showed smoke coming from where the person had been crouching.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.

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