FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) – The lawyer for a Fort Collins man accused of starting a wildfire that destroyed 13 homes says more time is needed to discuss a possible plea agreement with prosecutors.

Thomas Howie, 36, is charged with fourth-degree arson over the Crystal fire in April. Howie is accused of sparking the fire by burning slash on a windy day without a burn permit. His attorney Kirk Brush told a judge Friday that a plea agreement is being discussed.

thomas howie Lawyers Discuss Possible Plea Deal Over Crystal Fire

Thomas Howie (credit: Larimer County Sheriff)

Separately, two people who lost their homes in the fire have filed a civil lawsuit accusing Howie of negligence. The Coloradoan reports Howie’s lawyers contend in court documents that a downed power line may have caused the fire, and that Howie took steps to extinguish the slash fire before leaving.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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