Box Elder County man sentenced for starting six fires in 2023

Feb 2, 2024, 9:38 PM | Updated: Feb 3, 2024, 10:46 am

Barbed Wire surrounding the Salt Lake Prison....

The fencing that surrounds the Utah State Correctional Facility in Salt Lake City is pictured on Friday, Aug. 25, 2023. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

BRIGHAM CITY — A man told a judge that he thought crime was his “only outlet,” which led to several arsons in Box Elder County in 2023.

Chance Jon Cutler, 21, was sentenced to prison on Friday after admitting to igniting several fires, including a semitrailer, a field and a barn.

In a charging affidavit, police stated that they were investigating a half-dozen other arsons in the local area, leading to the initial arrest of Cutler on Aug. 19, 2023.

According to the affidavit, Cutler confessed to several crimes, saying that he “admitted to starting a field on fire by the Box Elder County Landfill with a firework,” and “described how he lit a barn on fire containing hay at the location this fire took place, and recalled that he started the fire on a Sunday as he had to work the next day.”

Police said these admissions were corroborated by witness statements and descriptions of his truck. Witnesses described it as a “maroon Chevy pickup with a white decal in the rear right window,” according to the affidavit.

In a letter to 1st District Judge Spencer Walsh, Cutler said, “I was so blinded by emotions that I failed to realize my family had been there for me all along. I stubbornly tried to take everything on and (take) every negativity head-on, without ever considering asking for help from my family.”

Cutler pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated arson, a second-degree felony; one count of arson, a third-degree felony; and three misdemeanor counts of arson.

Cutler was sentenced to serve all six sentences concurrently and will spend up to 15 years in prison. He was also given a 165-day credit for time served and will face a monetary penalty for restitution.

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Box Elder County man sentenced for starting six fires in 2023