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One suspect in High Chateau Fire pleads guilty to starting campfire that sparked the wildfire

Posted at 12:28 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 20:31:01-05

CRIPPLE CREEK – One of the men suspected of starting the High Chateau Fire last summer in Teller County pleaded guilty Monday morning to starting the campfire that started the blaze back in late June.

Kegan Owens reached a plea agreement with prosecutors where he would face 18 months in prison with a year of parole following his release.

His formal sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4, which fire victims are expected to attend.

The other adult suspected of starting the fire, David Renfrow, also appeared in court Monday, but he did not enter a plea. Renfrow’s attorney instead asked for a continuance to give letters of recommendation to the District Attorney’s office. His next court appearance is set for Dec. 3.

Renfrow, Owens and a 17-year-old were all arrested on First Degree Arson charges several days after the High 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 High Chateau Fire burned more than 1,400 acres and destroyed eight homes and several outbuildings.