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Plea entered in Sebastopol feed store arson case

  • Frizelle Enos Feeds, gutted last summer by fire in Sebastopol, will be rebuilt but may open under another name, Thursday Oct. 31, 2013. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

A homeless man from the Sebastopol area pleaded no contest to arson Friday for deliberately setting fire to Frizelle Enos, an iconic Sebastopol feed store, police said.

Steven Barton Edmonds, 54, pleaded no contest to one felony count of arson in connection with the July 13, 2013 fire, Sgt. David Ginn said. The blaze destroyed the building, which housed Sebastopol's longest-running business.

A surveillance video showed Edmonds setting fire to a huge stack of hay bales outside the building, Ginn said. He was well-known to Sebastopol police for other crimes like public intoxication, battery and violation of probation.

"We're satisfied with the outcome" of the case, Ginn said.

Edmonds will remain in custody at the county jail until his sentencing hearing, scheduled for July 31.

Store owners have said they will rebuild the Sebastopol store, which has remained closed since last summer.

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