Alleged arsonist arrested for SUU fire

CEDAR CITY – A Kentucky man visiting Cedar City to complete an academic program was arrested Monday in connection with a June 29 arson that happened in the Southern Utah University Centrum Arena loading dock.

SUU Police posted a video to Facebook June 30 of a man who was captured on camera setting fire to a crate stored in the Centrum Arena’s loading dock. Police asked for community assistance in identifying the suspect.

The crate belonged to Cedar High School and was still onsite from the school’s graduation ceremony, which took place at the end of the school year, SUU Police Chief Rick Brown said.

In the video, a young man wearing red shoes, camouflage shorts, a black T-shirt and a backpack walks through the tunnel that connects the loading dock and the arena and casually turns all the way around, looking to see if he is alone. He then pulls a lighter out of his pocket as he approaches the crate.

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Marshall Todd Young, of Louisville, Kentucky, booking photo posted July 20, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s bookings, St. George News

A tip came in based on the surveillance video stating that a man who looked like the one in the video walked a certain path multiple times every day, Brown said. Based on that tip, he said, SUU police surveyed the area until they found a man who identified himself as Marshall Todd Young.

“This is another sign of community policing where we were working together,” Brown said, “because it was basically the members of the community that helped us identify him. … Without them, we’d still be probably searching.”

During an interview with SUU Police, Young, 18, agreed that the man in the surveillance video looked like him but denied being on campus at the time the incident occurred, according to a probable cause statement filed by the SUU Police Department.

Young told police that according to the time stamp on the video, he was at a party, so it could not have been his image they captured, the statement said.

“Marshall stated he was by the Centrum at around 0100 hrs in the morning but was by the soccer fields,” the report went on to say. “Marshall also admitted to going down the tunnel on different occasions to smoke marijuana.”

When Young was informed that the time stamp on the video was incorrect and that the fire had actually occurred around the time that he admitted to being on campus, he then changed his story, according to the report.

Throughout the interview, Brown said, Young changed his story so many times it was impossible to tell what the truth was.

SUU Police asked Young if they could retrieve the clothing he was wearing on the night in question and, according to the probable cause statement, he agreed. At Young’s house, they found the red shoes, camo pants and necklaces that matched the ones the suspect wore in the video.

Based on the evidence found and information collected, Young was arrested and charged with arson, a third-degree felony. After Young was placed in the patrol car, the report stated, he confessed to the arson.

Young was booked into the Iron County Jail Monday but was released Tuesday after a $5,000 bond was posted, according to information from the Iron County Jail.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Email: cmiller@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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