The Fort Collins man accused of starting the Skyline Fire near Horsetooth Reservoir “out of rage and resentment” in September pleaded guilty and granted a deferred service as well as community service and probation on Monday.
Robert McGehee, 34, pleaded guilty to second degree arson, a Class 4 felony, and criminal mischief, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Investigators say McGehee lit a patch of grass on fire in the Reservoir Ridge Natural Area on Sept. 5 following a fight with his mother. McGehee’s mother told Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputies her son was frustrated about a recent breakup.
McGehee admitted to deputies he lit dry grass on fire “out of rage and resentment,” but minutes later took off his shirt in an attempt to extinguish the fire.
The fire burned 16.2 acres and cost more than $5,000 in resources to extinguish, according to arrest documents.
Eighth Judicial District Judge Gregory Lammons granted McGehee a four-year deferred sentence and 100 hours of community service for the arson charge and four years of probation for the criminal mischief charge.
McGehee must also pay nearly $500 in fees.
Reporter Sady Swanson contributed to this story.
Brooklyn Dance is a breaking news reporter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @hibrookIyn.
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