DENVER (AP) — A judge on Monday dismissed criminal charges against a Danish man accused of starting a Colorado wildfire that destroyed over 100 homes in 2018 after he was repeatedly found unable to stand trial.
It was not clear what would happen to Jesper Joergensen once he is released from the state mental hospital, which was expected to happen later in the day, but he will apparently be a free man.
Judge Gregory Lyman had hoped Joergensen, who was in the country illegally when he was accused of starting the fire while cooking food outside, would be deported if the charges were dropped but he said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had no intention of doing that, without elaborating.
A spokesperson for ICE didn’t immediately return a call and email seeking comment.
Rikke Andresen of the Danish consulate in Chicago said she was aware of what had happened but said she couldn’t comment on the case, including whether the Danish government would offer assistance to Joergensen or help him return to Denmark.
Joergensen has been in custody for nearly four years, since shortly after the fire started.
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