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State v. Nastoff

Idaho Court of Appeals
862 P.2d 1089 (1993)


James P. Nastoff (defendant) and two others had been cutting wood in a forest with a chainsaw for approximately two days. Shortly thereafter, a fire broke out which engulfed five acres. During fire suppression efforts, Nastoff’s chainsaw was found near the origin of the fire. The chainsaw had been illegally modified, including removal of the spark arrestor and holes being punched into the muffler cover, allowing the saw to emit carbon when idling. It was the carbon that smoldered and eventually ignited the fire. The value of the timber lost exceeded $1,000. Nastoff was indicted for malicious injury to property. At trial, the State did not contend that Nastoff intended to start a fire by his operation of the chainsaw. The jury found Nastoff guilty. The court denied Nastoff’s motion for acquittal and, instead, entered an order withholding the jury’s judgment of guilty. Nastoff appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Lansing, J.)

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