Ruling complicates prosecution in Colorado arson cases

Posted at 4:52 PM, May 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-19 18:52:56-04

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — A ruling has complicated prosecutors' efforts in two Colorado arson cases.

Prosecutors accuse Allison Marcus and Richard Miller of knowingly or recklessly starting a wildfire that burned almost 20 square miles (50 square kilometers) and destroyed three homes outside Basalt in 2018.

The two had been shooting tracer rounds at a gun range.

Prosecutors say the rounds started the fire and a sign at the gun range said tracer rounds were prohibited. But District Judge Paul Dunkelman has ruled that the sign can't be used as evidence.

Marcus' attorneys say there is no evidence Marcus ever saw the sign and its small letters prohibiting the use of tracer ammunition.

The Aspen Daily News reports prosecutors seek to put the case on hold while they appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court.