Judge Weighs Dropping Charges Against Jesper Joergensen Over Spring Fire
DENVER (AP) - With no viable option remaining for trying a mentally ill Danish man accused of starting a large Colorado wildfire in 2018, a judge says he will rule next week on whether to dismiss criminal charges against him. Before deciding the fate of Jesper Joergensen, Judge Gregory Lyman said during a hearing on Thursday that he wanted to be assured that Joergensen would be deported to his homeland if the case is dismissed.
Lyman also said he wanted to hear from residents of some of the over 100 homes that were destroyed at the Feb. 12 hearing when he's scheduled to announce his decision.
According to court documents, Joergensen told police he had started a fire to burn trash on land where he was living in a camper despite a ban on open fires because of the dry conditions but later said he had been grilling in a permanent fire pit. He said he woke up from a nap, saw a fire burning in sage brush and burned himself as he tried to put it out.
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