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Thursday, 09 October 2014 13:39

Two Men Sentenced in Red Steer Arson

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Firefighters work to contain the fire started at Red Steer. 5-28-09 Firefighters work to contain the fire started at Red Steer. 5-28-09 TurlockCityNews.com
Two men have been convicted of the arson that destroyed the notable Turlock eatery Red Steer five years ago.

Jeremy Britt and Tracy Smith pleaded no contest to arson charges on Oct. 1 and each have been sentenced to 180 days in jail.

The two convicted arsons will also be placed on three years formal probation, according to the Stanislaus County Superior Court.

Britt and Smith, who were first arrested in July of 2009, are required to surrender to the jail by Jan. 30, 2015.
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Arson of a structure, the charge the two pleaded guilty to, typically is a felony punishable by two to six years in a prison, however the sentence was reduced to 180 days because of the plea deal.

The Red Steer was set on fire in May 28, 2009 to cash in on an insurance policy. The blaze caused more than $1 million in damage to the restaurant.

Scott Soiseth and his son-in-law Smith owned the Red Steer Restaurant. Soiseth bought the restaurant in 1984, the same restaurant he worked as a busboy when he was 16 years old. The restaurant was originally opened in 1968.

Although the former Red Steer location, at 203 S. Golden State Blvd., remains empty, a chiropractic office is planned for the empty lot.

Dr. Sargon Malek, D.C., a local chiropractor who owns Malek Chiropractic, will be developing the property to relocate his current practice while also adding another commercial space to lease.
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Brandon McMillan/TurlockCityNews.com 04-05-14
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Comments (6)

  1. Just sayin

The courts are a bad joke. Why did it take over 5 years for this case to get to court? Then they plead out and get 180 days, which they'll probably be allowed to serve at home and go merrily on with their lives. Did the insurance pay off? If so,...

The courts are a bad joke. Why did it take over 5 years for this case to get to court? Then they plead out and get 180 days, which they'll probably be allowed to serve at home and go merrily on with their lives. Did the insurance pay off? If so, who pocketed the million bucks? Is his share how he's funding his new business venture? Not bad for a day's work.

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  1. the truth

Why don't they give them 180 days work detail? They will probably do 90 days halftime if that with jails over populated maybe 45 days if that yeah our system is a joke but any vote for Soiseth for mayor

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  1. guest

Insurance fraud will see another spike. And us who pay for insurance will see our rates increase because of people like this. So we all pay.

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  1. Jean Dixon

"The two convicted arsons will also be placed on three years formal probation"

Arsons? How about arsonists? Sheesh.

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  1. Anonymous

I worked for these Basterds when this happened. They owed me and many other employees back pay and when we finally got them, every check bounced. They promised that the downtown restaurant would be opened soon and never did. They even had us...

I worked for these Basterds when this happened. They owed me and many other employees back pay and when we finally got them, every check bounced. They promised that the downtown restaurant would be opened soon and never did. They even had us clean it up to help them speed up the process and still never got paid for even after attempts to collect. I'm sad for their families but satisfied with justice, even if they got off easy

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  1. David's lover boy

It's the Sosieth family, they "think" they can get away with anything. Look at Gary's run for Mayor..lied about being a CSUS professor, lied about being "deployed" to the military, he was a civilian, lied about the road tax...liars go to hell!

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