U.S. Drops Count Against Teen in Utah Fire
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ The government has dropped the most serious charge against an 18-year-old man accused of setting an arson fire at Brigham Young University on behalf of an ecoterrorist group.
After weighing the evidence, federal prosecutors decided to scrap a count accusing Harrison David Burrows of using a destructive device, which carried a 30-year sentence, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Stephen Sorenson said Thursday
Burrows still faces a charge of destruction of property by fire for the July 8 blaze at a farm on the school’s campus in Provo. Damage was put at about $30,000.
University officials have said the farm houses animals used for feed experiments, and that the animals are not harmed.
According to an FBI affidavit, Burrows claimed responsibility for the destruction in the name of the Animal Liberation Front. Burrows, who pleaded not guilty Thursday, faces five to 20 years if convicted.
Burrows, of Provo, confessed that he set fire to a considerable amount of cardboard at the BYU farm, according to the affidavit.
Burrows also allegedly told the FBI that an accomplice set fire to two tractors, and both spray-painted pro-ALF graffiti.
The farm fire occurred three weeks after ALF’s sister organization, the Earth Liberation Front, took responsibility for a $1.5 million arson fire at a lumberyard in suburban Salt Lake City.