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A judge's gavel.
A courtroom gavel. (Joe Gratz, Flickr)

The husband of Denver’s District Attorney pleaded guilty Thursday to leaving several slash fires burning unattended near his home in Grand County during a fire ban last year.

Christopher Linsmayer, 69, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted arson, one felony and one misdemeanor, in exchange for a deferred sentence, according to the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. If he successfully completes his two-year probation without committing other crimes, his charges will be dismissed.

Linsmayer is set to be sentenced Oct. 14. He also faces up to 90 days in jail and 80 hours community service, the office said in a news release. If he violates his probation, he could face a sentence of up to six years in prison. 

Defense attorney Jack DiCola told The Associated Press that Linsmayer takes full responsibility for the fires and has agreed not to have any open fires on his property in the future for as long as he owns the land.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on behalf of Linsmayer’s wife, District Attorney Beth McCann. 

Fire crews used hand tools and shovels to put out the fires on Linsmayer’s property near Kremmling last October and investigators found that he had left that morning, according to the AP. No property was damaged and no one was hurt.

In 2016, he was previously suspected of unintentionally starting a 10-acre wildfire near his home that forced about a dozen homes to evacuate, the AP reported.

“This resolution should make clear that no matter what you think you are entitled to do, violating a fire ban or otherwise behaving recklessly with fire on Colorado’s western slope will result in serious consequences,” Matt Karzen, 14th Judicial District Attorney, said in a written statement. “Thankfully, nobody was hurt in this instance and no structures were damaged, but as has been made painfully clear in recent years, there is zero room for irresponsible behavior with fire in Colorado.”

The attempted arson charges alleged that Linsmayer “knowingly or recklessly” started a fire that could have injured someone or damaged someone’s buildings or property.

Olivia Prentzel covers breaking news and a wide range of other important issues impacting Coloradans for The Colorado Sun, where she has been a staff writer since 2021. At The Sun, she has covered wildfires, criminal justice, the environment,...