The so-called Utah Mountain Man was sentenced to at least 10 years in prison. Although he was a self-proclaimed survivalist, Knapp is accused of stealing to support his reclusive lifestyle. Troy James Knapp, age 46, reportedly broke into numerous homes to steal weapons, food, and supplies.
It is unclear how long Knapp lived in the Utah wilderness. However, he evaded capture for more than a decade.
In 2000, Knapp was sentenced to two years in a California prison for burglary. Daily News reports that following his release, Knapp violated his parole and left the state.
In 2007, Utah authorities were alerted to a series of seemingly related burglaries. Authorities said Knapp often taunted his victims, leaving unusual notes, moving furniture, and shooting holes into the walls.
As reported by ABC News, he never physically harmed anyone. However, residents and tourists were disturbed by the thefts.
Five years later, Knapp was identified as a suspect through video surveillance and fingerprints. Authorities said Knapp’s crime spree spanned at least seven counties. In April, 2013, The Utah Mountain Man was captured and arrested following a shootout with police.
Although the Utah Mountain Man is a local legend, Prosecutor Brody Keisel said the defendant is “a common crook.”
Knapp’s attorney, Jay Winward, said his client is misunderstood. While he admittedly relied on stolen supplies, Winward said his client is an admirable man:
“There is an admiration for somebody who chooses to live off the land, because he does it while the rest of us wouldn’t. Even if he needs a little help from some cabin owners.”
Per a plea agreement, Knapp led authorities to 16 weapons, which were hidden throughout four Utah counties. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Bell said authorities recovered “13 handguns, two rifles, and one shotgun.”
On Monday, Knapp pleaded guilty to numerous charges, including 10 counts of felony burglary. He was sentenced to one to 15 years on each count. He was also sentenced to a mandatory 10 years on weapons charges. As the sentences will be served concurrently, the Utah Mountain Man will spend at least a decade in prison.
During sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart suggested that the defendant has “plenty of time” and “should write a book” about his unusual lifestyle.
Following his sentencing, the Utah Mountain Man had an opportunity to make a statement. However, he simply replied “No, thank you.” Attorney Winward said his client “will live a quiet life.”
Although he is facing at least 10 years in prison, the Utah Mountain Man remained calm and quiet throughout the hearing.
[Image via Outside Online]