Mountain Fugitive Accused Of Living In, Ransacking Utah Cabins For Years
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A backwoods recluse accused of burglarizing a string of cabins in remote areas of Utah faces new burglary charges in a seventh county.
Prosecutors in central Utah’s Sevier County on Monday filed two charges of aggravated burglary and two firearm theft charges against Troy James Knapp, 46.
Knapp, known as the “Mountain Man,” now faces more than 40 state charges after officials in various counties accused him of living in and ransacking remote Utah cabins for years.
Knapp, on parole after a California burglary conviction, went on the run in 2004, law enforcement officials said. He eluded police for years while stealing guns, whiskey and supplies.
Before he surrendered in April 2013, Knapp shot a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter and aimed an assault rifle at other officers, officials said.
He has been charged in federal court with one count each of assaulting a federal officer, use of a firearm during a violent crime and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
Knapp is scheduled to take a plea deal in federal court next week on federal firearm charges. The terms of the plea agreement were not disclosed, and federal prosecutors said no plea deal has been finalized.
Knapp does not have a defense attorney representing him against the 40 state charges he faces going back to 2009.
He fired his court-appointed attorney last summer, telling a judge that he would represent himself. He also refused help from a private attorney hired by Knapp’s parents.
Jay Winward, a St. George attorney representing Knapp in federal court, said Wednesday that he couldn’t speak to the new state charges.
Court records filed in Sevier County offer few details beyond charging Knapp with aggravated burglary and firearm theft in June 2012.
A staff member in the Sevier County Attorney’s Office said county attorney Dale Eyre would not answer questions about the case. Eyre did not respond to a separate email seeking details.
Messages left with Sevier County Sheriff Nathan Curtis were not immediately returned Wednesday morning.
The new charges were first reported by the Deseret News on Tuesday evening.
Federal prosecutors have taken the lead on Knapp’s case since mid-September. Sanpete County Prosecutor Brody Keisel said he had been trying to negotiate a single plea deal on all state and possible federal charges, but he abandoned the effort after Knapp wouldn’t cooperate.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.