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(Courtesy photo) Troy James Knapp
Change-of-plea hearing set for alleged ‘Mountain Man’ burglar

Courts » The action could resolve the case.

First Published Mar 28 2014 11:46 am • Last Updated Jun 09 2014 04:59 pm

"Mountain Man" Troy James Knapp appears set to change his plea in connection with federal charges accusing him of shooting at officers who captured him in Sanpete County last year in connection with a series of cabin burglaries.

According to a docket entry this week in U.S. District Court, Knapp is scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing on April 7 before Judge Ted Stewart — indicating the case could be resolved.

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Knapp in October pleaded not guilty to assaulting a federal officer; use of a firearm during a crime of violence; and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

His trial had been set for April 28.

Knapp, 46, a wilderness survivalist, allegedly burglarized numerous cabins in several Utah counties over approximately six years, managing to elude cabin owners and law enforcement officers. Authorities finally got a solid lead on his whereabouts last April from a group of people collecting antlers on central Utah’s Ferron Mountain who reported seeing someone who looked like the wanted man.

Emery County deputies tracked Knapp for several days, following as he wandered near the Ferron Reservoir area of Sanpete County. On April 2, a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter spotted Knapp chopping wood outside a cabin. Police say Knapp fired a weapon at the helicopter and also pointed a weapon at officers before he was taken into custody.

The federal indictment alleges Knapp was armed with an SKS-type assault rifle and a .357 caliber handgun, which authorities previously have said were stolen during a Sevier County burglary.

Six counties have filed state charges — 26 felonies and 13 misdemeanors in all — against Knapp related to the break-ins of cabins. The state cases have been on hold while the federal case went forward.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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