Arson suspect pleads guilty

Composite image | Background photo by DmitriMaruta / iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – A homeless Cedar City man charged with setting fire to several vehicles in January pleaded guilty to arson Tuesday.

Isaac Wall was 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

Isaac Wall, appearing in front of 5th District Judge Keith Barnes, pleaded guilty to three second-degree felonies of arson as part of a plea arrangement with the Iron County Attorney’s Office. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to dismiss three additional counts of arson.

Barnes ordered a presentence investigation be conducted prior to sentencing scheduled for May 23.

The 23-year-old had previously entered a plea of not guilty on all counts. However, defense attorney Troy Sundquist told the court then that his client’s plea may change following a mental health evaluation to determine whether Wall completely understood his actions at the time.

According to the charging documents filed with the court to identify the reasons for the defendant’s arrest, Wall started seven vehicles on fire – the first at the home of his estranged wife. The rest of the fires were chosen at four different locations randomly.

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

Wall was angry at his wife over their pending divorce and set the initial fire in retaliation for his wife filing for divorce, Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack told Cedar City News at the time. The other fires, Wall told authorities, were failed suicide attempts.

Court documents detail the events of the night on Jan. 10, beginning with the first fire that was started just after midnight 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 received threatening messages earlier that same night via the social media app Snapchat that sends messages with photos. Wall’s wife said she didn’t know who was sending the messages at the time.

The first message received included 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 sent his wife another message shortly after lighting the victim’s car on fire asking her if she was okay and claiming he had seen the previous Snapchat of her vehicle.

Authorities responded to several subsequent vehicle fires between 1-3 a.m. The fires were estimated to cause “tens of thousands of dollars in damage,” Womack said, with four of the vehicles destroyed.

Police arrested Wall around 4 a.m. taking him to the Cedar City Police Department. There, the defendant told investigators he had planned to commit suicide because his wife didn’t want him anymore but was too scared so instead he “ran off.”

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

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

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

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