First Degree Aggravated Arson for Setting Own Apartment on Fire

A Utah man is facing charges for first degree aggravated arson as well as attempted murder for setting his own apartment on fire.

Paranoia unhinged

First Degree Aggravated Arson

Photo by: Denis Dervisevic

Kyle Stinson of West Valley City started a fire in his apartment earlier this month in what was found to be a disturbed and irrational attempt to protect himself from a neighbor. Police determined that Stinson’s neighbor posed no threat whatsoever. Stinson however was found to be the one causing danger as he started a fire in an occupied building and also tried to tie the door of his neighbor shut so they could not escape the apartment complex. Stinson faces charges of first degree aggravated arson and attempted murder.

First degree aggravated arson

Even though the only part of the building damaged was Stinson’s own apartment, Utah Code 76-6-103 states “A person is guilty of aggravated arson if by means of fire or explosives he intentionally and unlawfully damages:

a) A habitable structure; or

b) Any structure or vehicle when any person not a participant in the offense is in the structure or vehicle.”

Additionally, since he tried to tie his neighbor’s door closed after he set his apartment on fire, he is also facing attempted murder. Both charges that Stinson is facing are first degree felonies, each with possible prison terms of five years to life in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Questionable mental health

Photo by: Mike H

Photo by: Mike H

Since police were not able to find any justification to Stinson’s fears of being harmed by his neighbor, Stinson’s mental health should be questioned. Paranoia to the degree that Stinson’s was suffering from could be caused from drug use, but may have also resulted from an unchecked mental illness. Unfortunately, instead of seeking help for his apparent neurotic disorder or even requesting aid from law enforcement when he thought he was in danger, Stinson took matters into his own hands and now could spend the rest of his life in jail. For those who are facing charges such as first degree aggravated arson or other serious felonies and feel that they were not in their right state of mind during the offense, it is recommended to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney.

Utah Man to Mental Hospital after Attempted Murder

A Utah man is on his way to the state mental hospital for a spell before serving time in prison for attempted murder of a fellow motorcyclist.

Traffic violation or attempted murder charge?

Photo by: Bill & Vicki T

Photo by: Bill & Vicki T

In August of 2013, 57 year old James Alan Reynolds of Enoch Utah refused to stop for a police officer during a routine traffic stop. The short chase ended with Reynolds crashing his motorcycle into a car, but not before he fired a series of random shots at another motorcyclist. 21 year old Austin Sharp of Santa Clara Utah, who had no known affiliations with Reynolds, was shot twice in the back.

Random and almost deadly

Reynolds was originally facing multiple charges including discharging a firearm from a vehicle and fleeing from police, but it was ultimately decided last week that he will serve time for the more serious of his offenses, attempted murder of the young fellow motorcyclist Austin Sharp.

First stop, mental hospital

Photo by: floodllama

Photo by: floodllama

Since Reynolds was determined not mentally ready to be added to the prison population, he will be spending an indefinite amount of time in the Utah State Mental Hospital. If ever it is decided that he is of sound mind, he will be transferred to the Utah State Prison to serve his time for attempted murder.

1st Degree Felony

Attempted murder by causing serious bodily injury during the felony discharge of a weapon is a 1st degree felony, and punishable by up to life in prison. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Reynolds was clearly not mentally healthy when he made the choice to shoot at a random person, and now two lives are changed forever. For more information on any criminal charges call an experienced defense attorney. For issues pertaining to mental health that could lead to criminal charges, contact the Utah Mental Health Services in your area.

New Public Enemy No. 1 Warrant Includes Attempted Murder, Other Charges

Attempted murder charges for Public Enemy No. 1

Photo: Unified Police Department Metro Gang Unit/KSL News

The Salt Lake City Metro Gang Unit named a new Public Enemy No. 1 on Friday, Jan. 16. The warrant for his arrest includes charges of attempted murder and felony discharge of a weapon. Currently an adult, the man has a juvenile record as well.

Not His First Charges

According to a report from KSL News, the state has issued a $50,000 warrant for Michael Steven Bonilla, 19, a member of a violent street gang. The warrant includes “six counts of attempted murder and four counts of felony discharge of a weapon.”

While investigators have said that Bonilla has been arrested as a result of assault and drug-related charges in the past, it is unclear if these counts relate to those charges. In 2013, when Bonilla was 17, he was arrested and charged with the same counts of attempted murder and discharge of a weapon with gang enhancements, as well as obstructing justice. This was in relation to a drive-by shooting in Kearns. Even though the numbers of that incident match the numbers on the current warrant, the report didn’t state if the warrant stemmed from the same incident.

What is clear is that Bonilla is currently at-large. Police have described him as being 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing approximately 150 pounds, with brown eyes and hair and the number “801” tattooed on the back of his head.

The Metro Gang Unit said anyone with information should contact them through the Unified Police Department at (801) 743-7000 and their calls will remain anonymous.

Attempted Murder Almost as Serious as Aggravated Murder

According to Utah Code 76-4-102, attempted murder is considered an inchoate offense, meaning a crime of preparing for or seeking to commit another crime. The attempt to commit aggravated murder, resulting in serious bodily injury, is punishable by a prison sentence of no fewer than 15 years and potentially life.

In contrast to attempted murder, the act of aggravated murder is punishable by life in prison without parole, or no less than 25 years.

Either way, these are very serious charges. If you or someone you know has been charged with attempted murder, make sure to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney either for legal advice or to handle your case and look out for your best interests.