During court appearance, defendant in case of stolen truck fire learns of additional charges

ST. GEORGE — A man who appeared in court Thursday learned he is facing additional charges for an incident in May involving a pickup truck that was allegedly stolen and then set on fire.

Timothy Maas, 31, of St. George, booking photo posted May 16, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Timothy Maas, 31, of St. George, appeared in 5th District Court for a roll-call hearing on more than a dozen cases, including the truck fire case, for which he faces felony charges of arson and theft.

The charges stem from an incident reported May 16 when firefighters were called to a vehicle fire on an unpaved portion of Navajo Drive in St. George involving a Lincoln pickup truck.

Police investigating the incident collected video evidence from a security camera showing a vehicle matching the description of the burned truck traveling west on Navajo Drive with a white pickup truck following close behind. The white pickup is later observed heading east on the same road at a high rate of speed 10 minutes before fire was reported.

Police received an anonymous tip three days after the fire indicating Maas and co-defendant Jarrett Huddleston were involved. Both were charged after a search of the pickup truck and shoe impressions at the scene helped investigators pinpoint the pair.

A Lincoln truck is burned following a fire in the desert near Navajo Drive, Washington County, Utah, May 13, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Adam Heyder, St. George News

During Thursday’s court hearing, Maas’s defense attorney, Caleb Cottam, told Judge John J. Walton that his client was close to a “global resolution” on all of his outstanding cases. However, prosecutor Rachell Shumway said the state added charges in the arson case that the defense may not be aware of, including felony charges of theft by receiving stolen property and obstruction of justice.

The additional theft charges were filed after the initial truck fire incident when police allegedly found stolen items during a search of Maas’s garage weeks later.

The obstruction charge was filed after Maas told police he had been paid by a business associate to burn the pickup, according to court records, giving investigators specific details regarding an individual he claimed helped pour gasoline on the stolen truck and set it on fire. After spending “considerable resources” investigating Maas’s lead, police say they later discovered he had lied about the other individual.

District Court Judge John J. Walton in court proceedings at 5th District Court, St. George, Utah, Sept. 26, 2019 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Cottam said his client was not prepared to acknowledge the additional charges until he had a chance to meet with him.

Maas faces many other charges on unrelated cases filed since 2018, including five felony drug possession charges and a felony theft charge, as well as misdemeanor drug and paraphernalia possession charges and one count of criminal trespass. These charges have since resulted in a number of probation violations.

The defendant’s cases were scheduled for drug court staffing in June, but his application to enter the program was denied.

Maas is scheduled to return to court for a resolution hearing Oct. 24.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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