More than a month after his latest trial began, Benjamin Gilmore was found guilty on Friday of deliberately igniting the 2011 Penny Flats fire. Gilmore, 31, had been on trial since Sept. 16. The jury found him guilty of arson, burglary and criminal mischief, but not guilty on four other counts, including attempted murder.
The fire initially started Oct. 24, 2011, in a structure at 311 N. Mason St. in downtown Fort Collins, but it spread to the mixed-use Penny Flats complex next door. Damages to the property were estimated at $10 million.[...]
According to archive accounts of the incident, a key piece of evidence at the time of Gilmore’s arrest was a Rolex watch bearing his name that had been found in the debris near the scaffolding used to access the start of the fire. Gilmore had been shown in the days before to have worn the watch at a Fort Collins City Council meeting, but afterward had injuries to his legs and apparent burn injuries to his hands. He told police at the time he had acquired the injuries at the Occupy Fort Collins bonfire. Keep on reading...