Two men who kidnapped, beat and robbed a Seaside man, then set his condominium on fire to cover their tracks, pleaded guilty to three felonies in court Wednesday.
Kevin Bradley Bibby, 40, of Gearhart, and Adrian Aero Mathis, 31, of Seaside, both pleaded guilty to first-degree arson, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree burglary for an incident that took place late June 30.
They agreed to be sentenced immediately.
Because all three charges were Measure 11 crimes, Circuit Court Judge Paula Brownhill sentenced each of them to 7 1/2 years in prison without the possibility of parole or early release. Measure 11 set statutory sentencing guidelines for certain felonies. Both men will receive credit for seven months served in the Clatsop County Jail.
"Arson is only a Measure 11 crime if it endangers other people," said Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis.
There are 10 units in the condominium building and all of them are occupied. One resident was deaf, and there were small children in the building.
Brownhill sentenced the men to three years of post-prison supervision, ordered each of them to pay $47,700 to State Farm Insurance for damages to the victim's condominium, $1,000 to the Coast River Condominium Association and $1,800 in fines.
Brownhill said that looking at the men's criminal histories, there were no previous personal crimes, only property crimes.
The story began back in May, when Mathis rented a laptop computer at a rent-to-own retail store. He never made payments on it and shortly after renting it, sold it to Mark Matschiner.
On June 30, Mathis and Bibby went to Matschiner's apartment to retrieve the computer, but he'd sold it to somebody else. They beat him up, filled a sleeping bag with his belongings, and took him from his home, the court heard. To cover their tracks, they loaded bedding on the stove and turned all the burners on high.
Then they stole his pickup and drove him to Necanicum Village. He escaped and ran to a phone.
Emergency personnel took him to Providence Seaside Hospital. He was unable to say what happened to him. But while he was at the hospital the scanner went off, reporting a fire.
"I think the fire department is at my condo," he told personnel.
The investigation led to Bibby and Mathis, who were arrested July 8.
Gretchen Ladd, the Clatsop County senior deputy district attorney who prosecuted the men, said the defendants were lucky they were only facing charges of kidnapping, arson and robbery.
"The fire had the potential to be fatal," she said. "With the complexity of the case, we may forget there could have been fatalities in this case.
"Fire is really one of the most frightening things that can happen to people. To have people set a fire in this way and not warn people - not call the fire department - is appalling."