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Chateau Fire arson suspects waive preliminary hearing

Posted at 12:22 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-01 19:17:33-04
Renfrow (left) and Owens (right)
Renfrow (left) and Owens (right)

CRIPPLE CREEK – Two of the three suspects accused of starting the devastating Chateau Fire in Teller County were in court Monday afternoon for a scheduled preliminary hearing.  However, David Renfrow and Keegan Owens both waived their right to the hearing and will return on Nov. 19 for arraignment.

Defense attorneys indicated in court that they might be working to strike a plea deal with prosecutors, but no details about a possible deal were talked about in court Monday.

Renfrow, Owens and a 17-year-old were all arrested on First Degree Arson charges several days after the Chateau Fire started on June 29.

Investigators say the group was camping when they lit an illegal campfire during Stage 2 Fire Restrictions in Teller County. They said they left the area when they were spooked by a bear, and told investigators they thought the fire was out before they left.

The maximum penalty for the arson charge is 8 years in prison and a fine as high as $750,000, if they are found guilty.

The Chateau Fire burned more than 1,400 acres and destroyed eight homes and several outbuildings.