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Man admitted to stealing truck and setting it and a car on fire, documents allege

Crime Watch

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Dean A. Martin | Bingham County Jail

BLACKFOOT — Deputies say a Bingham County man lit two cars on fire with at least one of them reported as stolen.

Dean A. Martin, 44, is charged with two felony counts of third-degree arson. According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, Martin started the car fires sometime on Wednesday. If convicted, each count holds up to 10 years in prison and or a $50,000 fine.

Deputies first responded to the mobile home earlier in the day to the report of a vehicle fire, according to court documents. Deputies say the car was a complete loss.

Later in the day, a deputy passing by noticed Martin attempting to light a red Nissan truck on fire. With the fuel cap open and rags stuff inside, obvious burn marks appeared on the truck, documents say. When police ran the plates, the report came back that it had just been reported stolen from Idaho Falls.

Deputies arrested Martin and took him to the Sheriff’s Office. When investigators attempted to speak with Martin, he began making “unintelligible statements about his mother and Jesus.”

“Martin said he would tell me the truth, swearing on the Bible,” a deputy writes in the affidavit. “He stated that he stole that truck …‘I wanted to save her. I won’t tell you her name.’”

He then admitted to setting the truck and car on fire, according to court documents.

“I walked through the shadows of death when I started it on fire,” Martin said according to deputies.

While deputies recommended that Martin be charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, court records indicate he has only been charged thus far for the alleged arsons.

Martin remains held in the Bingham County Jail on $30,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 7.

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