ALBANY, Ore. (AP) – A Lacomb-area man has pleaded no contest to arson in connection with a chemical fire at the Lebanon Walmart that prompted evacuations and forced the store to close for nearly a week.

The Democrat Herald reports 50-year-old Joel Reynolds entered the plea Wednesday in Linn County Circuit Court.

Defense attorney Erik Moeller says he and the prosecution reached an agreement in which Reynolds will serve over seven years in prison and have another charge of arson dismissed.

a probable cause affidavit says a witness told authorities that Reynolds mixed brake fluid with pool chemicals inside the store on May 14.

The witness said that as Reynolds left the business, he told her the store would be “up in smoke” and police would arrive soon. Documents say another witness told police that Reynolds had talked about wanting to set a fire at the Lebanon Walmart because he was upset with the store.

He was previously convicted of theft from the store.

Information from: Albany Democrat-Herald,

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