Guilty plea in Sunflower Fire

November 19, 2012

The man responsible for starting the nearly 18,000-acre Sunflower Fire has entered guilty pleas. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Steve Goldstein has more.

Mesa resident Steven Craig Shiflet had been target shooting with a group of friends near Payson last May. He loaded his shotgun with a flame-throwing shell and, while firing at a soda box, ignited the brush. Shiflet pleaded guilty to a pair of federal charges. He faces up to one year in jail and ten thousand dollars in fines. His sentencing is set for February 26, 2013. Meanwhile, two cousins—Caleb and David Malboeuf—who started the 840 square mile Wallow Fire in May of 2011—will have to begin paying more than $3.7 million in restitution next year. U.S. Magistrate Mark Aspey outlined the payment schedule in an order issued late Monday. The Malboeufs served a weekend in jail and were given community service for starting the Wallow Fire.

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