PROVO — Attorneys for a cabin owner charged with accidentally starting the massive Brian Head Fire are seeking to show that firefighters and forest managers mishandled their jobs before the blaze torched 71,000 acres, according to prosecutors who want to prevent a jury from seeing such evidence.

The state says the criminal case against Robert Ray Lyman isn’t based on the ultimate size of the 2017 fire, and the irrelevant information could confuse jurors, show court filings from last week. They also give a play-by-play account of how investigators believe the 62-year-old Lyman sparked the blaze.

A judge in Provo’s 2nd District Court has yet to rule on the motion, which says Lyman’s attorneys have claimed the blaze was mismanaged by firefighters after the forest was allowed to get too dry. Defense lawyer Andrew Deiss did not immediately return a message seeking comment on Friday.

At about 110 square miles, the blaze near Parowan spanned an area the size of Salt Lake City and cost $34 million to fight. It also torched more than a dozen homes in the southern Utah resort community and forced 1,500 people to evacuate.

Lyman, a retired teacher and basketball coach who vacationed at the cabin, was first charged …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Top stories


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