Jun 19, 2011 5:00 PM by AP Posted by James H Egbert

Lawyers discuss possible plea deal over Colo. fire

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.

Thirty-six-year-old Thomas Howie 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.

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.
Information from: Fort Collins Coloradoan,

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



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