Mesa man asks for probation on wildfire charges

Mesa man asks for probation on wildfire charges

Posted: Updated:
Steven Craig Shiflet Steven Craig Shiflet

PHOENIX (AP) - A Mesa man who admitted to starting a nearly 18,000-acre wildfire in the Tonto National Forest is asking a judge to sentence him to a year of probation.

Steven Craig Shiflet is scheduled to be sentenced Monday morning in Phoenix.

He has pleaded guilty to a pair of federal charges and faces up to a year in jail and $10,000 in fines.

Shiflet was target shooting with a group of friends near Payson in May when he fired a shotgun at a soda box in a cleared area. Smoke soon appeared in the brush, and the group couldn't extinguish the blaze.

Shiflet's attorney says probation is appropriate because the group alerted authorities and fully cooperated in the investigation.

A presentence report also recommends 100 hours of community service.

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