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Bail increased for former Atascadero mayoral candidate facing arson, other charges

Posted at 3:59 PM, Aug 30, 2019

A former Atascadero mayoral candidate is facing new charges after his arrest earlier this week.

Charles Scovell appeared in a San Luis Obispo County Superior courtroom Friday morning to be arraigned on charges of arson, evading an officer and resisting arrest.

He did not enter a plea but the judge did up Scovell's bail to $520,000 while also requesting he been seen by medical staff at the jail as soon as possible, according to court records.

The 40-year-old was taken into custody Tuesday morning following a house fire, high-speed pursuit and hours-long standoff in Atascadero.

Police say firefighters responded to the 1500 block of El Camino Real Monday evening and found the home where Scovell lived engulfed in flames.

Investigators say they later learned Scovell was seen driving away from the home shortly after the blaze broke out.

A pursuit began shortly before midnight when the suspect's truck was reportedly spotted by police at Motel 6 in Atascadero and he refused to stop, police say.

The pursuit ended up back at the same hotel where Scovell reportedly barricaded himself inside a room.

He was taken into custody hours later and treated at the hospital for injuries police say were sustained during the pursuit. He was booked into custody Tuesday afternoon at the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office says, if convicted, Scovell faces a maximum sentence of 26 years behind bars.

This is not his first run-in with the law.

In December 2016, Scovell was arrested after police say he tried to rob a bank in Paso Robles.

Earlier that same year, he was involved in another standoff with authorities and charged with felony domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon.

He accepted a plea deal for those charges and avoided jail time.

In 2014, Scovell unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Atascadero but did secure 40 percent of the vote.

He is due back in court next week.