FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – The jury is now deliberating the fate of a man accused of setting a huge fire at a condominium complex in Fort Collins.
Prosecutors say the evidence clearly points to one man, but Benjamin Gilmore, 30, says he’s innocent. He’s on trial for seven felony counts, including arson and attempted murder.
Gilmore is accused of setting fire to a building that was under construction. That fire then spread to the Penny Flats condos in October 2011. The damage totaled $10 million.
There’s a lot of evidence for the jury to go over and no decision will be made by jurors until at least Wednesday.
On Tuesday before heading in to deliberate the defense and prosecution made one last push. The prosecution reiterated to the jury the most compelling pieces of the case. The first being the burns Gilmore had on his hands, which they claim, came from setting the Penny Flats fire. Gilmore’s Rolex watch, which was found at the scene of the fire, was also discussed at length. Prosecutors say the watch links Gilmore to the fire.
Gilmore, who took the stand last week, told the jury he was a participant of the Occupy Fort Collins movement. Chief Deputy District Attorney Emily Humphrey told the jury that was Gilmore’s motive for setting the blaze. Gilmore’s defense attorney disputes that claim and said Gilmore had no issue with big banks or the developer of the apartment complex.
Gilmore’s attorney also told the jury the prosecution’s theory had “gaping holes.” He said there were other people seen leaving the scene of the fire that morning matching the description, but not Gilmore. He also claimed the burn marks Gilmore had on his hands were not from setting the Penny Flats fire, but from practicing twirling fire sticks.