NewsLocal News


Man accused of starting multiple fires in Grand County in 2020 pleads not guilty

Posted at 1:09 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 15:15:06-04

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. — The husband of Denver District Attorney Beth McCann, who's accused of starting multiple fires in Grand County during a fire ban in 2020, pleaded not guilty to all counts against him Thursday.

Christopher Linsmayer, 68, pleaded not guilty to all 24 counts — 12 felony arson charges and 12 misdemeanor charges — against him. He is accused of leaving multiple slash piles to burn unattended in October 2020. The Kremmling Fire Department was able to extinguish the piles.

“I’m exhausted by the lack of sleep over the worries this has caused," he said over Zoom in Thursday's court hearing.

Grand County District Judge Mary C. Hoak set a five-day trial to start on Oct. 25, 2021 at 8 a.m.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney for Grand County, Linsmayer "is suspected of starting and maintaining a fire illegally between Oct. 25-27 near his home in Kremmling. The fire is the latest in a series of frustrations for his neighbors in the mountainous community, who feel Linsmayer has not been held accountable for past transgressions.”

Carolyn Tyler, a spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney's Office, previously released a statement: "Ms. McCann asked that I convey her thanks to the Kremmling Fire Department and to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office for their response. She is thankful that no property was damaged nor any injuries sustained. This is a very difficult time for her and her family, and they are cooperating fully with the investigation. Because this is an open investigation, I cannot provide details or discuss this incident."

This was not the first time he has faced fire-related charges in Grand County. Neighbors previously told Denver7 that they believe Linsmayer received preferential treatment in the past, but the lead prosecutor in that area says that is not the case.

“He does it habitually. It’s not an occasional thing or during burn seasons. He does it without a permit,” one neighbor told Denver7. “It seems to be almost like a hobby.”