Longmont man who tried to kill sleeping family by torching their home gets 48 years in prison

LONGMONT, Colo. - A Longmont man was sentenced to 48 years in prison Tuesday for setting fire to his neighbor's home in an attempt to kill the family of three sleeping inside.

Police and prosecutors said Weigle had been abusing "bath salts" -- a form of synthetic stimulants that can trigger hallucinations -- and he was gripped by escalating paranoia that his neighbor was hacking his electronics and following him, the Longmont Times-Call reported.

Prosecutors say Demian Weigle intentionally set fire to the front and back doors of his neighbor's home at 534 Bowen St. on July 15, 2012, according to the newspaper.

Weigle repeatedly pleaded with Boulder District Judge Patrick Butler for leniency.

"I don't want a life in prison. I see in myself a good man, a caring person and a father who loves his son," he said. "Please have mercy on me."

While imposing the sentence, Butler told Weigle that he could have killed the child sleeping in the home he torched, the newspaper reported. "[The child] may not have grown up at all or may not have grown up without a mother or father as well," the judge said.

A Boulder County jury in September convicted Weigle of three counts of attempted murder and one count of second-degree arson.

Read more of the Longmont Times-Call at this link: http://ch7ne.ws/IfHQVI

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