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9 months for burning home, lying to police

A Montesano man convicted of burning his father’s house last fall, then inventing an elaborate kidnapping story to tell police, will spend the next nine months in Grays Harbor County Jail.

Michael S. Scheef, 43, was sentenced Tuesday in Grays Harbor Superior Court for first-degree reckless burning and making false statements to a public servant.

An arson charge was added because Scheef eventually admitted to intentionally burning a motor home on the property. A jury found him not guilty of that charge, but guilty of the other two.

Scheef claimed three men had abducted him the morning of Sept. 30 and he had only returned Oct. 2, despite statements from friends that he had been at their home the night of the fire. Scheef eventually told police the home accidentally caught fire when he spilled gasoline he had been using to heat and light the house. He then lit a fire in the motor home to support his story that he had been kidnapped in an effort to run him out of town.

“I don’t understand any of this,” Judge Gordon Godfrey said. “I’m going to fill a gas lantern, I’m going to do it when it’s dark, and I’ve got a lantern that doesn’t have the glass, I’ve got an open flame. If that’s not reckless I don’t know what is.”