'Mountain Man' Troy Knapp makes first court appearance, faces possible federal charges (+video)
MANTI — Troy Knapp, Utah's "Mountain Man," made his initial appearance in 6th District Court by video feed Wednesday, speaking clearly and resolutely as he confirmed he understood all charges filed against him so far.
The now clean-shaven Knapp faces multiple charges of burglary, theft and criminal mischief, as well as a charge for possession of a firearm by a restricted person.
Sanpete County Attorney Brody Keisel said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has taken an interest in the case. It's just the beginning of possible charges against Knapp, including some stemming from his arrest April 2 near Ferron Reservoir when he reportedly fired several shots at a police helicopter, Keisel said.
The court also appointed a public defender for Knapp, who for the past seven years has lived in the mountains of rural Utah, allegedly sustaining himself by stealing from unoccupied cabins, taking what he wanted from those who he thought had more than enough.
The public should be careful not to classify Knapp as a "modern-day Robin Hood," Keisel cautioned.
"There's been a lot of information out there that somehow almost romanticizes him," the county attorney said.
Knapp doesn't live up to the "Mountain Man" moniker, Kiesel said. Instead of fishing, collecting berries and living off the land, Knapp is accused of stealing "Twinkies, Campbell's Soup and SpaghettiOs" and sleeping in other people's beds, he said.
It will be a long while before those cabin owners victimized by the burglaries will feel safe again, Keisel said.
Knapp also faces multiple burglary and theft charges filed in 5th District Court in October, as well as similar charges filed in September in 6th District Court in Panguitch and Garfield counties.
Keisel said other counties have been in touch with him and are waiting to see how the case develops.
Contributing: Sam Penrod
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