Published on July 21, 2023



PRESCOTT ARIZONA (July 21, 2023) –The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) and the Coconino County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) have been searching for an arsonist setting fires around the Ashfork area over the last few months.  Deputies and detectives had been following leads and were able to tie a suspect to a small fire yesterday; deputies then connected him to the multiple recent fires.

YCSO and CCSO deputies were able to link eight separate arson events that have occurred between Yavapai County and Coconino County (4 structure fires & 4 wildfires) since 06/15/2023. They developed a suspicion that Ash Fork Firefighter Karson Nutter (18) of Ashfork, was the key suspect in this series of arsons in the area. During early investigative interviews, deputies noted deceptive and misleading information in the statements provided by Nutter, furthering suspicion of Nutter being the key suspect.

Last evening deputies from both YCSO and CCSO interviewed Nutter again. They obtained a full confession from Nutter and his direct involvement with setting at least seven of the eight arson events, including 3 of 4 fires in Yavapai County.  In Yavapai County, there were two separate fires set to the Mobile Station in Ashfork and two separate fires set to the county-owned cemetery in Ashfork.  In Coconino County, two abandoned homes burned down in Kaibab Estates West, and two wildfires on Forrest Service Road 124.

During his confession, Nutter stated that his motives in setting these fires ranged from boredom, retaliation against a former employer, chasing a thrill, and setting fires to some abandoned homes for being "ugly."

Karson Nutter was booked into the YCSO Detention Center on three counts of Arson of a Structure or Property, Aggravated Criminal Damage (Defacing a cemetery/burial property), and five counts of False Reporting to Law Enforcement for knowingly providing false suspect information to impede a criminal investigation. It is anticipated that Coconino County Sheriff's Office will be filing further charges for the offenses in their county.


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