Defense presents its case in retrial of Occupy Wall Street sympthazer accused in $10M condo arson

Benjamin Gilmore's 1st trial end with hung jury

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The defense began presenting its case Thursday in the retrial of an Occupy Wall Street sympathizer accused of setting a 2011 fire that burned a Fort Collins building under construction and spread to a residential complex.

Benjamin Gilmore, 31, faces seven felonies including attempted first-degree murder in the early-morning fire that caused an estimated $10 million damage to the four-story apartment complex under construction and the occupied Penny Flats condominium and retail building next door.

Gilmore maintains his innocence. His first trial ended in a hung jury in September 2012.

Prosecutors, who rested Wednesday, say the arson fire threatened the lives of 21 residents of the condo complex.

The Gilmore case haw drawn national attention because he supported demonstrations at an Occupy Wall Street encampment a block away from where the fire was started. Occupy activists were protesting against economic equality and government policies favoring the wealthy.

Gilmore and his family own and operate Copoco’s Honey in Fort Collins.

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