Emery County prosecutors file charges against 'Mountain Man'

Published: Thursday, June 27 2013 10:38 a.m. MDT

Troy James Knapp, known as the "Mountain Man," was captured in the Ferron Reservoir area on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

Sgt. Dusty Butler, Emery County Sheriff's Office

CASTLE DALE — When the week began, Troy James Knapp was facing charges in Beaver, Garfield, Kane, Iron and Sanpete counties for a series of cabin burglaries that took place over the course of seven years.

Knapp, a survivalist better known as the "Mountain Man," can now add Emery County to the list.

On Tuesday, Knapp was charged in 7th District Court with aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony; two counts of theft, a second-degree felony; burglary, a second-degree felony; theft, a class A misdemeanor; and criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor.

The charges stem from break-ins at two cabins in the Joe's Valley area of Emery County. In one of the burglaries, Knapp is accused of stealing two handguns, a rifle, a pair of Swarovski binoculars and a pair of Army surplus boots, according to charging documents.

"It appeared to (the victim) that the suspect drank several sodas and cooked some food on a barbecue grill and (on) the wood-burning cook stove," the charges state.

In the second burglary, the cabin owners told sheriff's deputies that "it looked like items had been moved around, but it appeared nothing was missing," the charges state.

Knapp was arrested April 2 after authorities tracked him down near Ferron Reservoir in Sanpete County. Police say he shot at a Department of Public Safety helicopter that was participating in the search.

At that time of his arrest, Knapp had one of the handguns that had been reported stolen from one of the Emery County cabins, investigators said. He also admitted to breaking into both Emery County cabins, the charges state.

Knapp is accused of breaking into summer cabins during the winter over several years, living off whatever supplies were inside, and then living in remote mountainous areas during the summer. In his summer campsites, investigators said they discovered high-end camping gear stolen from cabins as well as numerous firearms.

Earlier this month, during a court hearing in Manti, Knapp told a judge he doesn't trust his public defender and is upset about the publicity his own alleged actions have received.

“I don’t care about attention,” Knapp told the judge. “I’m getting too much attention as far as I’m concerned right now with all this hubbub that’s going on.”

A $40,000 warrant has been issued for Knapp's arrest in the Emery County case. He remains in the Sanpete County Jail.

He is charged with three counts of burglary, theft by receiving stolen property, second-degree felonies; purchase, transfer, possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person and criminal mischief, third-degree felonies; three counts of theft and two counts criminal mischief, class B misdemeanors.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com, Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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