Mesa man set to change plea in wildfire case - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Mesa man set to change plea in wildfire case

Steven Craig Shiflet Steven Craig Shiflet

PHOENIX (AP) - A Mesa man accused of starting a nearly 18,000-acre wildfire in the Tonto National Forest is set for a change of plea hearing.

Steven Craig Shiflet was target shooting with a group of friends in May when he pointed a shotgun loaded with a flame-throwing shell at a soda box in a cleared area near Payson. Smoke soon appeared in the brush, and the group couldn't extinguish the blaze.

Shiflet is facing three charges. Each one carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in prison and a $5,000 upon conviction.

It's unclear what he'll plead to at Monday's hearing in Phoenix. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office says she had no further information. A call to Shiflet's attorney's office wasn't immediately returned.

Follow this story: Trial set for man charged with starting Sunflower fire

Mesa man accused of igniting Sunflower Fire

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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