NewsLocal News


Husband of Denver DA pleads guilty to attempted arson charges in Grand County

Posted at 4:09 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 22:59:02-04

DENVER – The husband of Denver District Attorney Beth McCann pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of attempted arson and will face up to 90 days in jail when he is sentenced later this year.

Christopher Linsmayer, 69, originally faced one dozen counts of felony arson and other misdemeanor counts after he was accused of setting slash piles on fire during a fire ban last October in Grand County.

He pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of fourth-degree attempted arson; one count is a felony and the other is a misdemeanor. The 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said the felony count was for placing people in danger of injury or death, and the misdemeanor is for putting a building in danger of being damaged.

The DA’s office said he will face up to 90 days in the county jail, 80 hours of community service and two years of supervised probation at sentencing. He will also have to agree not to set any open fires on his property as terms of the plea agreement.

Should he complete his sentence without any violations and without committing any new crimes, his charges would be dismissed. But should he violate the terms of his sentence, he would face up to 6 years in prison, according to the district attorney’s office.

Linsmayer had previously pleaded not guilty to the counts he faced.

According to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Linsmayer left unattended slash piles actively burning near his home outside Kremmling last Oct. 27 during a burn ban. Several of the slash piles burned for more than a day despite there being snow on the ground. The incident happened shortly after the East Troublesome Fire tore through Grand County on Oct. 21 and 22.

McCann had previously said through a spokesperson that she was thankful no property was damaged, and no one was injured in the fires.

Neighbors of Linsmayer’s told Denver7 Investigates previously they were frustrated because they felt he had not been held accountable for prior fires, though the lead prosecutor in Grand County said they felt that was not the case.

The district attorney’s office said Thursday that there would be a presentence investigation after Linsmayer pleaded guilty and that sentencing was set for Oct. 14.

“This resolution should make clear that no matter what you think you are entitled to do, violating a fire ban or otherwise behaving recklessly with fire on Colorado’s western slope will result in serious consequences,” said 14th Judicial District Attorney Matt Karzen. “Thankfully, nobody was hurt in this instance and no structures were damaged, but as has been made painfully clear in recent years, there is zero room for irresponsible behavior with fire in Colorado.”