Charges dismissed following Tehachapi arson suspect’s death

Crime Watch

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KGET) — Charges have been dismissed against a man who faced multiple counts of arson in connection with several brush fires ignited in 2019, with prosecutors saying the man died earlier this year.

Prosecutors on Monday confirmed Steven Kent Reddig had died and the charges against him were dismissed last week. Reddig was under the care of a private physician for medical conditions at the time of his death, coroner’s officials said.

Reddig was arrested after telling investigators he sprayed cigarettes with a mixture of alcohol and water before lighting them and tossing them into dry brush, court filings said.

Investigators believed Reddig, 57 at the time, set a total of six fires in the Tehachapi and Edison areas on Sept. 12 and 13, 2019. The largest blaze burned near the railroad tracks at Highway 58 and Tucker Road.

Surveillance video showed a white Ford F-150 pickup at the location of one of the fires just before it broke out, and the truck matched the description of a suspect vehicle seen at three of the fires. Arson investigators later found Reddig driving a white F-150 at Edison Highway and Towerline Road. He agreed to be interviewed and told them about lighting and throwing the cigarettes, according to the filings.

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