Fort Collins beekeeper sentenced to 8 years in prison for massive fire
Benjamin Gilmore walks out of court with his wife, Rebekah, in 2012.
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The Fort Collins beekeeper convicted of burning down an apartment complex was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday, the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office said.
Benjamin Gilmore, 31, started a fire at a Fort Collins construction site in October of 2011, a jury found earlier this year. The blaze destroyed the nearby Penny Flats complex and caused an estimated $10 million worth of damage, prosecutors said.
Gilmore was convicted of arson, burglary and criminal mischief, the DA’s Office said. He will serve the sentences concurrently for a total of eight years.
Gilmore became a suspect when investigators found that he participated in Occupy Wall Street protests within a block of the construction site. Gilmore and his supporters have maintained that the fire was set by a transient man seen in the area.
A mistrial was previously declared in the case in September of 2012, when the jury failed to reach a verdict.