According to a story that went online this afternoon at STLtoday.com, the former owner of the Halls Ferry Inn Jazz Cafe has been sentenced to probation after admitting he set fire to the business last February and pleading guilty to an arson charge.
The story, bylined "From Staff Reports," said that "Lozell Stiles, 40, of the 1200 block of Herman's Orchard Drive, will have a five-year prison sentence suspended as long as he abides by the terms of his probation, according to the ruling delivered by St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Robert Cohen on Friday. He also has to pay $1,000 in restitution."
Known for years as simply the Halls Ferry Inn, the business had a long history in its North County neighborhood. It had reopened as the Halls Ferry Inn Jazz Cafe in September 2011 with Stiles as owner, featuring primarily smooth jazz and R&B. The contemporaneous posts about the fire and subsequent charges against Stiles were two of the most read items of the year here at StLJN.