Woman convicted, sentenced for Stony Creek arson

Heather Matney

By Larry Judkins

Glenn County Observer

The Orland transient accused of starting a fire in the bed of Stony Creek in October has been found guilty and sentenced.

On Dec. 9, 2021, Heather Matney pled guilty to the Oct. 9 arson that resulted in six fire departments responding to the blaze. In the morning of Jan. 7 of this year, she was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 52 weeks of batterers treatment classes, and three years’ probation.

At 11:53 p.m. on Jan. 7, deputies responded to 236 North Humboldt Avenue regarding suspicious activity. An anonymous caller reported a white male adult who appeared to be transient was taking things from a delivery truck that was parked at KFC.

Deputies arrived and contacted Douglas Abbott and Heather Matney. A records check on the two revealed Matney was a restrained person in a served restraining order and the protected party was Douglas Abbott. Matney was placed under arrest for violation of a court order and transported to the Glenn County jail.

Five minutes after midnight on Jan. 8, Heather Nicole Matney, 27, was booked into the Glenn County Jail on charges alleging violation of a court order to prevent domestic violence (a misdemeanor). Her bail was set at $5,000.

Three days later, Matney was charged with alleged felony violation of probation by a Glenn County probation officer. Bail for this charge was set at $85,000.

On Oct. 11, 2021, The Glenn County Observer reported:

“As firefighters from six departments battled the blaze in the Stony Creek bed a short distance north of Orland Saturday evening and beyond, an Orland transient was arrested for allegedly intentionally setting the fire.

“At about 6 p.m. on Oct. 9, deputies responded to the Stony Creek area east of Highway 99, in Orland, and contacted Douglas Abbott. Deputies initiated an investigation and discovered Abbott and his girlfriend, Heather Matney, had a camp in the creek bed.

“Abbott and Matney reportedly got into an argument. Abbott left the camp and noticed a fire had begun shortly after he left.

“Another witness in the area alleged they saw Matney start the fire and then flee the area on foot. Deputies searched the area extensively and eventually found Matney at the Shady Oaks Trailer Park, space #19.

“She was ultimately placed under arrest and booked into the Glenn County Jail on charges alleging giving false identification to a peace officer (a misdemeanor), and arson of an inhabited structure or property (a felony). Her bail was set at $200,000.”


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