'Mountain Man' Troy Knapp makes first court appearance
Manti • Troy James Knapp, who police believe is the notorious cabin burglar known as the "Mountain Man," made his first court appearance Wednesday, eight days after he was arrested following a six-year run of solitude in Utah's mountains.
The Sanpete County Attorney's Office charged 45-year-old Knapp last week with a total of six felonies and five misdemeanors in three separate cases: three counts of second-degree felony burglary; theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony; use of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony; third-degree felony criminal mischief; three counts of class B misdemeanor theft and two counts of criminal mischief, also class B misdemeanors.
Knapp wearing a striped Sanpete County jail jumpsuit appeared in Manti's 6th District Court before Judge Marvin Bagley via a video feed from the jail.
The defendant answered "Yes" to the judge's questions about his identity, and whether he understood the charges.
Knapp will be back in court on April 17 for a hearing where he will tell the judge if he wants to have a preliminary hearing or not.
Probable-cause statements for the three cases cite separate cabin break-ins that took place in October 2012. In one case, the owner of a cabin in Fairview Canyon complained that his cabin had been broken into, and when a Sanpete sheriff's deputy inspected the building, he saw an upstairs bedroom had been inhabited. There were no signs anything had been taken, but it looked as if someone had rummaged through dresser drawers, and a closet door was broken.
In another case, a cabin owner complained that food, pliers and a flashlight had been stolen from his Fairview cabin, and a bottle of liquor and box of Oreos had been consumed.
In the third case, a Fairview cabin owner called police after their cabin was burglarized and a hatchet and GPS system were stolen. Ammo and guns were moved around the cabin, according to court documents, but none were taken.
According to the probable cause statements, Knapp admitted during interviews after his arrest to breaking into all three cabins.
The charges filed last week do not address crimes he allegedly committed during his capture on April 2, when police say he fired a rifle at a Department of Public Safety helicopter and pointed the weapon at Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk, one of about 50 law officers who converged on Knapp near Ferron Reservoir.
Sanpete County Attorney Brody Kiesel said those charges have not been filed for a number of reasons.
First, Kiesel said the bail amount $250,000 cash on two of the cases and $500,000 in another is high enough to keep Knapp in jail until he can be charged with the other crimes.
Kiesel also said he has been contacted by a federal prosecutor who has shown interest in being involved.
"I want to give the federal government the chance to review the reports," Kiesel said Tuesday. "Then we can visit with each other, and find the most effective way to ensure the most effective prosecution against him that would bring justice."
Sanpete is the fourth county to file charges against Knapp. In 2012, Iron, Kane and Garfield counties filed their own burglary-related charges. As of Tuesday, Knapp had 19 felonies and 10 misdemeanors mostly burglary and theft filed against him.
Keisel said Sanpete County plans to go ahead with its case against Knapp because he is in custody at its county jail. He said it is unclear in what order or exactly how he will be prosecuted in the other counties. Bagley is the assigned judge for the Kane and Garfield County cases, which are all within the 6th District Court.