Ft. Collins man, Benjamin Gilmore, guilty in $10M arson fire that damaged condo complex, other bldg.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - A man has been found guilty Friday of arson, burglary and criminal mischief in a $10 million fire that burned a Fort Collins building under construction and spread to an occupied residential complex in 2011.

The jury in the retrial of Benjamin Gilmore,31, a Fort Collins beekeeper, also found him not guilty of two counts of attempted murder and additional counts of arson and criminal mischief.

The Gilmore case attracted 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 inequality and government policies favoring the wealthy.

The early-morning fire caused an estimated $10 million damage to a four-story apartment complex under construction and the occupied Penny Flats condominium and retail building next door.

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

Prosecutors say the arson fire threatened the lives of 21 residents of the condo complex.

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