OREM, Utah, July 20, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Two men have been arrested after a fire was set in a vehicle outside a bar in Orem.
A probable cause statement from Utah County said Esau Jared Moreno-Cordova, 25, is facing charges of arson, a second-degree felony, and obstruction of justice, a third-degree felony. Jacob Aston, 28, is facing a charge of arson, a second-degree felony.
On July 10, officers responded to a report of a vehicle arson at the Hitching Post bar at 30 N. Geneva Road. A red Chevrolet Impala was found to be damaged and a fire burning was in the gas tank, the statement said. The car was a total loss. The owner of the car reported having an argument with Moreno-Cordova that night, and suspected him of causing the damage.
Contact was made with employees at the Hitching Post and surveillance was observed of a white Cadillac STS pulling into the lot and the driver exiting.
“The driver is observed putting something in the gas tank and lighting it on fire,” the probable cause statement for Aston said. “The driver then gets in the car and drives away. Witness and victim stated the vehicle belonged to Jacob Aston, who is a regular. Contact was made with Jacob who ultimately admitted it was his vehicle in the video. He also stated he was the one who got out of the car and lit the rag on fire. He admitted to also breaking out the window of the car earlier in the night.”
Aston told officers Moreno-Cordova was present while the damage was done to the car, and that the latter kept telling him to “do more.” Aston said he first broke out the windows, then returned and tried to light the car on fire. He stated it was due to Moreno-Cordova “making him do it,” the statement said. Aston told officers he regretted his actions and admitted to his mistake.
Moreno-Cordova was interviewed after being read his Miranda rights and he allegedly admitted to being in Aston’s car. He admitted to seeing a police car, and not trying to stop the damage or arson of the vehicle. He originally tried to lie about his involvement until he was confronted with the evidence, but would not admit to any decision making, the statement said.
Both suspects were transported to Utah County Jail, Moreno-Cordova with his bail set at $15,020 and Aston with his bail set at $10,010.