UPDATE: 6 p.m. June-21-17 – A guilty plea was entered by Aran Cantrell Wednesday to second-degree murder and first-degree arson as part of a plea agreement in the death of Matthew Eldenburg, 30, who died in a September 2016 fire at his home. An autopsy indicates he was alive at the time of the fire.
PETTIS COUNTY, Mo. — An area man charged with felonies in relation to a fire that killed 30-year-old Matthew Eldenburg of Sedalia last year has a court date scheduled for today in Pettis County.
A probable-cause statement filed with the Pettis County Circuit Court says the charges are in relation to the death of Eldenburg who was found by firefighters on June 23, 2016, after they extinguished a blaze at a residence in Sedalia. Eldenburg was found in a kitchen chair after the fire was put out and was transported to Bothwell Hospital, where he later died from his injuries. The state fire marshal believes the fire was deliberately set and that accelerates allegedly were used.
The suspect, Aran Cantrell, reportedly admitted to getting gasoline from the garage at the residence and pouring it on Eldenburg, whom Cantrell said was unconscious at the time. Cantrell denies starting the fire.
According to online court documents, Cantrell is charged with a class A felony for second-degree murder and a class A felony for first-degree arson. Cantrell has a pre-trial conference scheduled for today at 1 p.m. in the Pettis County Circuit Court in Sedalia.
Court documents also show that Cantrell pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this year. He also requested and received a change of venue from Pettis County. Cantrell is being held on bond for $250,000, cash or surety. He is scheduled to appear for a jury trial from July 24-26 in Clay County Circuit Court in Liberty.