SEDALIA, Mo. — The suspect accused of the 2016 murder and arson of a man in Sedalia pleaded guilty and was sentenced in a Pettis County court room Wednesday.
According to court documents filed in the Pettis County Circuit Court, Aran Cantrell, 22, of Sedlaia, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count each of first degree arson and second degree murder following the June 23, 2016 death of 30-year-old Matthew Eldenburg.
Eldenburg died after he was doused in gasoline and his home was lit ablaze last summer. An autopsy carried out by the Pettis County Coroner found the fire killed Eldenburg,. Cantrell was initially charged with an accomplice, Cody Harvey, 23, also of Sedalia, however the charges against Harvey were dropped last month due to insufficient evidence.
Before striking a deal with the Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney, Cantrell maintained that he did pour gasoline on Eldenburg when he was still alive, but denied starting the fire.
Cantrell pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced on both counts to 24 years of incarceration in the Department of Corrections, effective Wednesday, June 21. Those sentences will run concurrently.