U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Utah
District of Utah
For Immediate Release
July 6, 2011
Carlie Christensen, United States Attorney
Contact: Melodie Rydalch
Bond Pleads Guilty to Two Counts of Arson in Connection with Fires at Two Utah Businesses
SALT LAKE CITY – Walter Edmund Bond, age 35, of Salt Lake City pleaded guilty to two counts of arson in federal court this morning in connection with fires at the Tandy Leather Factory in Salt Lake City and the Tiburon Fine Dining Restaurant in Sandy which occurred in 2010.
Bond admitted that he intended to start the fires at the business. He also admitted that he intended to damage or destroy the buildings and interfere with the business operations. He also acknowledged that his actions caused more than $10,000 in damages to each of the businesses.
Bond faces up to 20 years in prison for each arson conviction when he is sentenced Sept. 19, 2011, at 2 p.m. by U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart. Both convictions carry five-year mandatory minimum sentence. As a part of the plea agreement, federal prosecutors agreed not to seek consecutive terms of imprisonment for Bond on the two Utah arsons. However, prosecutors will argue at the sentencing hearing that Bond’s sentence for the Utah fires should be served consecutively to the five-year sentence Bond is currently serving for a conviction in federal court in Colorado. Federal prosecutors also reserved the right to seek an upward departure in federal sentencing guidelines.
Bond was charged in an indictment returned in September with two counts of arson and two counts of force, violence, and threats involving animal enterprises in connection with the two fires. The Tandy Leather Factory fire was set in the early morning hours of June 5, 2010. The fire at Tiburon Fine Dining Restaurant in Sandy was set on July 2, 2010. Federal prosecutors have agreed to dismiss the counts involving threats to animal enterprises at sentencing.
Agents and officers of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the ATF and Salt Lake City and Sandy police departments participated in the investigation of the case.