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Monitoring of Arsonist to Continue

January 08, 2003|From Associated Press

DENVER — A federal judge said Tuesday that the former U.S. Forest Service worker who pleaded guilty to setting the largest wildfire in Colorado history will continue to be monitored electronically because she has a history of acting irresponsibly.

Terry Lynn Barton, 38, pleaded guilty Monday to a state arson charge. She had pleaded guilty last month to federal charges for setting the 137,000-acre fire in June and lying to investigators. The fire destroyed 133 homes and cost more than $29 million to contain.

Barton must be monitored electronically and must check in regularly with court officials as a condition of her $600,000 bail.

She filed a motion Dec. 18 asking that the electronic bracelet be removed because she was not a flight risk. The motion also said Barton's 14-year-old daughter Brandy had come from California to live with her, and she hoped for more freedom and time to spend with her daughter.

U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch said Barton failed to consider the consequences of her actions when she started the fire and could easily do the same if she was no longer monitored.

She is expected to get six years behind bars on the federal charges when she is sentenced next month and is facing up to 12 years in prison when she is sentenced on March 5 on state charges.

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