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Maryville Man Charged with Arson at St. Joseph Business

Employee charged with arson after allegedly setting fire at Nor-Am Cold Storage.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A Maryville man has been charged with setting a fire at a St. Joseph business.

Michael L. Mullings, 45, was charged with second-degree arson.

A probable cause statement says Mullings, an employee at Nor-Am Cold Storage, used a flammable aerosol to set fire to a desk area after taking more than $3,000 in cash from the desk.

The document says Mullings, the plant manager, entered the business after hours on June 24, and attempted to turn a surveillance camera away. The document also states the cameras still captured Mullings setting fire to the desk.

A witness told police she saw Mullings in the building between 8 and 8:45 p.m., then, after smelling a gas-like odor, Mullings told her to leave the building because of a fire.

Mullings was the first employee on the scene, according to the probable cause statement, and told a fire inspector he left the building at 6:45 p.m.

The money was discovered missing the next day. Mullings refused to give a statement to police but admitted he was having financial difficulties due to a prescription drug problem. He told police he consumed around 25 prescription pain pills per day.

Damage to the business was reported to be around $20,000.

Mullings is being held on a $40,000 bond. The probable cause statement also noted Mullings' 17 prior felony arrests and 11 felony convictions.

His arraignment is scheduled for June 28.
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