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Nov 10, 2011 1:33 PM by Trovette Tottress

Fort Collins arson suspect maintains innocence

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) - A man accused of starting a fire that caused $10 million in damage in downtown Fort Collins is fighting the allegation.

The lawyer for Benjamin Gilmore released a statement Thursday saying that his client is "steadfastly maintaining his innocence" as the 29-year-old appeared in court. The Coloradoan reported that Gilmore smiled at his family before the hearing began.

He was arrested last week in connection with a fire that destroyed one building under construction and spread to a condominium complex next door. Gilmore's family said in a statement that he was an early supporter of Occupy Fort Collins and is "a strong advocated for freedom and responsibility." Details of the case have been sealed. Prosecutors are scheduled to outline their evidence at a hearing on Dec. 19.

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