Utah’s Mountain Man in Court
Faces 10 years in federal prison
UPDATE: James Knapp has been sentenced to 10.5 years behind bars in a federal prison. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart told Knapp that, “you are obviously a man of some intelligence and resourcefulness for you to survive how you have, and elude law enforcement as you did,” during sentencing. Judge Stewart also suggested that Knapp uses his time of incarceration to write a book.
After eight years of running from the law, stealing cabin supplies, and firing bullets at a helicopter during a standoff-style capture, Troy Knapp is finally having his day before a judge. Knapp, known as Utah’s “Mountain Man” burglar, will be sentenced to a stay in federal prison on Monday. Prosecutors have asked for a sentence of at least ten years.
Knapp pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to use of a firearm during a crime of violence, according to a Salt Lake Tribune story. Apart from federal sentences for firing upon law enforcement, Knapp is also expected to appear in state court to resolve the many cases of cabin break-ins that occurred over a six-year period. Seven Utah counties have filed 43 different felony and misdemeanor charges against Knapp. Now that the federal court case is resolved, state cases will be taken off hold.
During his “catch me if you can” years, Knapp became somewhat of a backcountry survivalist legend. Authorities said he would hole up in cabins during the snowbound season—sleeping in the owners’ beds, leaving thank-you notes, stealing weapons, and listening to the radio for updates about his own manhunt. In the summer, he would head to the woods and camp out with doomsday-esque preparation, according to an AP story. Year-round, he was alone and on the run.
His loner ways didn’t stop in a full courtroom, either. ABC News reports that he fired his defense attorney and told a judge that he would be representing himself against both the state and federal charges.