Attorney says defendant’s not guilty pleas for 6 counts of arson may change

Stock Image | St. George News / Cedar City News
Isaac Wall arrested and charged with six counts of felony arson, Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 10, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY – While a Cedar City resident charged with 6 counts of arson pleaded not guilty Tuesday his attorney said that may change in the coming weeks after findings of a mental health evaluation are released.

Isaac Wall appeared before 5th District Judge Keith Barnes Tuesday pleading not guilty to six second-degree felonies for arson. The charges are in connection with several vehicle fires Wall allegedly set last January – the first at the home of his estranged wife.

Defense attorney, Troy Sundquist, entered not guilty pleas for his client followed with a request for a scheduled status conference in two weeks rather than a trial. Sundquist told Barnes his client’s pleas may change in coming weeks depending on the results of the evaluation.

“We will readdress the charges with that information (mental health evaluations),” Sundquist said.

The attorney added that he is also discussing a possible resolution with the Iron County Attorney’s Office.

Wall is scheduled to return in front of Barnes on April 11 for a change of plea hearing.

According to charging documents filed with 5th District Court identifying the reasons for the defendant’s arrest, Wall started the first of seven vehicle fires because he was angry at his estranged wife over their pending divorce. The rest of the fires were all failed suicide attempts, the court records explain.

During a police interview, it was determined that Wall had set the first fire out of vindictiveness for his estranged wife, Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack told Cedar City News at the time. The other fires were set randomly and the victims did not know the suspect.

Cedar City Police responded to the first vehicle fire just after midnight on Jan. 10 at a residence located on the 300 South block of 900 West.

The victim told police she saw her “soon to be” ex-husband running from the scene, adding that she had been received threatening messages earlier that same night from an unknown person via the social media app, Snapchat, that sends messages with photos.

The first message came with a photo of a gas can and the text, “Girl, it sounds like someone is cooking tonight.” A second message was a photo of the victim’s car “with a comment that her family is about to be BBQ,” charging documents state.

Wall allegedly sent another message using his own account just shortly after the victim’s car was lit on fire claiming that he had seen the Snapchat of her vehicle and asking her if she was OK.

Following that first fire, authorities responded to a series of vehicle fires throughout the night resulting in “tens of thousands of dollars in damages,” Womack said.

Police apprehended Wall at approximately 4 a.m., at which time he was taken to the Cedar City Police Department where he reportedly told investigators he had planned to commit suicide because “his wife did not want to be with him anymore.”

“… I asked him why he did that,” Sgt. Davie Evans wrote in his report. “Isaac looked at me and his eyes began to water and he told me because he might be crazy.”

Wall told Evans he planned to stay under the vehicles after he lit them but would “get scared and run off.”

Wall is now reported as homeless. He is originally from Cedar City, Womack said, however, his most recent address is from Beaver.

Wall has remained in the Iron County Correctional Facility without bail since his arrest.

Court records show that in 2014 Wall pleaded guilty in 5th District Court in Beaver County to assault and attempted sexual battery, both misdemeanors.

Email: tsullivan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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1 Comment

  • comments March 29, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Well, I agree that it is possible for a women to drive a man “crazy”. But I’d say the fires set after the first were him trying to cover up his crime and make it seem to be fires set by a vandal to random vehicles. If he wanted to do a suicide he could’ve soaked himself in fuel and sat in the car he was lighting ablaze. Horrible way to die. But I dont believe he was going for suicide at all.

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