Man charged with 12 counts of arson in series of field fires in Salt Lake County

Posted at 3:05 PM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-23 19:19:00-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- Authorities have arrested a man who faces 12 counts of arson in connection with several fires that were allegedly set intentionally across Salt Lake County in recent months.

brien-kelly-mugshotAccording to a statement of probable cause, 46-year-old Brien O'Neil Kelly of West Jordan faces 12 counts of arson as third-degree felonies, and UFA announced the man's arrest Friday.

Kelly allegedly set three field fires on July 15, one at 7586 West Rose Canyon Road, one at 7509 Mountain Top Road and one in the area of Baucus Highway and 12000 South. Those fires caused an estimated $2,000 in damages, including some damage to a nearby fence. Data from Kelly's cell phone places him in proximity to those fires, according to the PC Statement.

On August 8, four field fires were set. One was at 13800 South Redwood Road, one at 13972 South Redwood Road, one at 14805 South Camp Williams Road and the fourth at 16813 South Camp Williams Road. All of the field fires were set near a road, and all together they burned an estimated five acres. Authorities say Kelly was observed in proximity to several of those fires.

A witness stated they saw Kelly sitting in a truck prior to the August 8 fires, and that witness identified Kelly in a photo lineup.

Another three field fires were set August 15, one at 9200 South 5600 West, one at 9800 South and U-111, and the third at 6600 West Crimson Drive. All fires were set near a road, and remnants of matches were found. According to court documents, a vehicle matching the description of a car belonging to Kelly was observed on surveillance footage where the fire started.

On August 21, three field fires were intentionally set. One at 7220 West Rose Canyon Road, one at 7336 West Rose Canyon Road and the third at 15195 South Rose Canyon Road. The fires were in the same general area as the July 15 fires, and two acres were consumed for an estimated $1,500 in damage. A witness stated they saw Kelly acting suspiciously in the area around the time of the fires.

Another two field fires were set August 21 after the fires in Rose Canyon, and those fires were within 300 yards of each other in the area of 1688 Deer Ridge Drive. According to the PC statement, surveillance footage from one nearby home showed what appeared to be Kelly's vehicle in the area.

Two more fires were set in Lehi on August 21, both near 450 North East Frontage Road. About an hour after those fires, Kelly was admitted to a hospital wearing clothing similar to that described by witnesses to the earlier fires. Police said Kelly provided an alibi, but officers say they were not able to confirm he was not at the locations he claimed to be. The documents further alleged that data from Kelly's phone indicated he was actually in close proximity to the fires.

The statement of probable cause was filed Thursday, and UFA announced Kelly's arrest on Friday.