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Columbia man convicted of arson at the University of Missouri and Stephens College

Published On: Apr 23 2013 04:32:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 24 2013 10:30:01 PM CDT

A jury convicted a Columbia man of intentionally setting fires at the University of Missouri and Stephens College in 2011.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -

A jury convicted a Columbia man of intentionally setting fires at the University of Missouri and Stephens College two years ago.

Christopher C. Kelley, 27, was found guilty of two counts of arson in U.S. District Court in Jefferson City.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office says Kelley's trial started Monday. The prosecution wrapped up its case Tuesday afternoon and the defense finished Wednesday morning. The jury deliberated the case for approximately two hours.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Kelley deliberately set fires at ten different locations inside MU's Ellis Library on September 10, 2011.

Kelley also vandalized property in the library, including computers. Investigators found human feces and urine on top of one of the study desks.

Damage to the library was estimated at nearly $1 million.

Kelley was also found guilty of starting a fire at Stephens College on May 18, 2011. That fire caused moderate smoke damage to the Audrey Webb Child Study Center.

Federal court documents state both education buildings are used for "interstate commerce."

Kelley will receive a minimum five year sentence for each of the two arson counts. He faces up to 40 years without the possibility of parole and a fine up to $500,000 for each count.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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