Owner of Columbia strip mall destroyed in fire to appear in court

POSTED: 02:34 PM CST Nov 18, 2013    UPDATED: 07:02 PM CST Nov 18, 2013 
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The owner of a Columbia strip mall that was destroyed in a 2012 fire appeared in court Monday.

Mark Stevenson, the owner of the strip mall, 106 Business Loop 70 West LLC, is charged with seven counts of "miscellaneous property violations" and appeared in court for a hearing.

The judge asked for no more continuances, since this hearing had been delayed four times already.

Stephen Richey, a prosecutor for the City of Columbia, said a jury trial has been scheduled for Nov. 27.

The charges were filed after the city issued several notices to the owner, ordering the demolition of the destroyed building. The city said the property owners delayed cleanup at the site. Stevenson faces fines and even jail time.

The April 1, 2012 early morning fire caused more than $6 million in damage and lost inventory at numerous stores, including O'Reilly Auto Parts, Hong Kong restaurant, Dollar General and a barber shop.