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More charges lodged against Fort Collins beekeeper

We previously discussed the case of the 30-year-old Fort Collins beekeeper accused of setting a building afire in conjunction with the Occupy Fort Collins protests. Authorities say that the fire destroyed the four-story Mason Street Flats building and damaged a nearby 24-unit residential and retail building called Penny Flats. The damage is estimated at $10 million.

The beekeeper says that he was just a protestor and blames the fire on homeless individuals who lingered around the Occupy Fort Collins protest site and were squatting in the construction site. It's unclear why authorities believe that the man set the fire or what his alleged motive was supposed to be. It is also interesting to note that although additional felony charges were filed against the man, no additional bail was requested.

Authorities originally charged the beekeeper with criminal mischief, arson and burglary. The man now faces two attempted murder charges and an additional charge for arson and criminal mischief. Authorities have been tight-lipped about the circumstances surrounding the beekeeper's arrest and the Coloradoan reports that the supporting arrest documents have been sealed.

The beekeeper's business is raising funds to support the man's defense through its Facebook site and its store on College Avenue.

"We are very grateful for the outpouring of support from the community, both emotional and monetary," the business posted on its Facebook page.

The beekeeper's charges now include the following:

  • Two counts of attempted murder
  • Two counts of arson
  • Two counts of criminal mischief
  • One count of burglary

The attempted murder charges can carry 24-year prison sentences, the arson and criminal mischief counts can carry up to 12-years in prison and the burglary charge can result in a six year prison sentence.

Source: The Coloradoan, "More charges filed in Old Town Fort Collins condo blaze," Robert Allen, Jan. 18, 2012

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