Local man charged in connection to Pocatello home invasion allegedly tried to light hotel on fire
A local man who faces up to life in prison if convicted of charges related to a felonious crime spree in multiple Idaho counties attempted to light a motel on fire before he was taken into police custody earlier this month, according to court records.
Christopher W. Wilson, 18, of Pocatello, faces aggravated battery and robbery charges, both felonies, in Bannock County for his alleged role in a Nov. 16 home invasion and shooting at a residence in downtown Pocatello.
Wilson also faces attempted first-degree arson, possession of a stolen vehicle, both of which are felonies, and misdemeanor resisting or obstructing officers charges in Twin Falls County, where he allegedly attempted to light a Motel 6 on fire.
Wilson is currently incarcerated at the Twin Falls County Jail in Twin Falls on a $50,000 bond.
Wilson’s alleged crime spree began early on the morning of Nov. 16, when Wilson and an accomplice, who has not yet been captured, forced their way into a residence on the 1200 block of North Main Street in Pocatello. The incident resulted in the homeowner, a 55-year-old man yet to be identified by police, being shot in the abdomen with a handgun, according to authorities.
Police said that Wilson and his accomplice robbed the wounded man and a juvenile at the residence after the shooting.
Pocatello police said the 55-year-old man who Wilson and his accomplice are accused of shooting was transported via ambulance to Portneuf Medical Center following the home invasion but has since been discharged from the hospital.
Pocatello police officers are investigating additional leads and consider the case active and ongoing.
Around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, Twin Falls police officers responded to the Motel 6 located at 1472 Blue Lakes Blvd. N. in Twin Falls, after receiving reports that a man staying at the motel was in possession of a stolen motorcycle, according to court records.
The Nampa Police Department informed the Twin Falls Police Department that a man had picked Wilson up on the interstate and rented him a room at the Motel 6 in Twin Falls.
Officers located the motorcycle that was reported stolen, a black and red Ducati, inside the motel in a hallway on the first floor. Wilson was located in a room on the second floor, according to court documents.
Initially, Wilson refused to open the door for police. After Wilson handed the keys to the stolen motorcycle to officers through a crack in the door, officers told Wilson that he was being placed under arrest for possessing a stolen vehicle.
Wilson refused to open the door for police and officers observed him “throw a sweatshirt on the floor and light in on fire. Once the sweatshirt was on fire, he attempted to hold some kind of paper above it to accelerate the flame,” according to court records.
Officers then kicked down the door and forcibly placed Wilson, who reportedly resisted and asked for officers to shoot him, under arrest. He was then transported to the Twin Falls County Jail.
When officers asked Wilson why he started the fire in the hotel, he told police that his intentions were to distract law enforcement long enough so that he could locate a knife and take his own life, according to court documents.
Pocatello police told the Journal on Monday that Wilson’s accomplice in the home invasion has not yet been captured and should be considered armed and dangerous. The accomplice is described as a Hispanic man in his late 20s to early 30s with a slender build. At the time of the home invasion, he was reportedly wearing a white Adidas hat, black leather jacket and jeans.
If Wilson is convicted of the robbery charge, he could be sentenced to life in prison under Idaho law. The maximum sentence for the attempted first-degree arson charge is 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
The maximum sentence for the aggravated battery charge is 15 years in prison, and the maximum sentence for the possession of a stolen vehicle charge is 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.