Colorado

Jun 8, 2013 6:55 PM by Jacqui Heinrich, jheinrich@koaa.com

Judge rejects plea deal involving SW Colo wildfire

CORTEZ, Colo. (AP) - A district judge has rejected a second plea deal for a man accused of starting a wildfire that prompted evacuations in southwest Colorado.

The Cortez Journal reports Judge Todd Plewe rejected 54-year-old Roger Stratton's deal, which called for a deferred sentence. The judge says he's concerned because, under current case law, any unpaid civil restitution would be vacated once the terms of the deferred judgment expired.

The Roatcap Fire burned more than 400 acres and prompted evacuations of about 30 homes in Montezuma County after it started Oct. 24.

Stratton, who faces a charge of fourth-degree arson, is accused of burning leaves on his property when the wind caused the fire to spread out of control. No structures were lost.

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