But that is what the preliminary hearing is all about, showing that there is enough evidence to bring things to trial. Obviously, there is. Convictions, however, don't occur at preliminary hearings, and those hearings are biased predominantly for the prosecution. There not much defense counsel input into them.
Looking at what was reported on the Coloradoan story quoted below, the most damaging piece of evidence is the watch. How did the watch get to be in the area? I won't get into conjecture on that one point, because that is a crucial piece of evidence. Kind of like homie's broken hand that didn't hit nobody. Some thoughts on everything else though:
- The burns are probably explainable. One possible reason is manufacturing charcoal.
- There's any numerous reasons for having a bandage on the hand.
- Was there clothing with accelerant smell on them or evidence of combustion. Some forensic chemical analysis of clothing similar to what they do when they test for gunshot residue.
- There are thousands of black hoods in the Fort Collins area. The problem I have with this piece of video evidence is resolution. The other problem is contrast. Try the experiment at home. After midnight take a video of your kid or significant other half way down the block in a black hoodie. What do you get? I haven't tried this myself, BTW, but will tonight. I'll post the results when I can.
- Whatever happened to the "homeless individuals"? That theory appears to have slipped quietly under the water like a submarine. Remember what I've said about insurance companies not paying without a suspect/conviction.
- Motive still comes to mind. Or for that matter instability. The sign at the Occupy gathering "Legalize Paragliding" still tweaks me.
Taken in total, though yes, a jury needs to decide. Saying that, I would sincerely ask Mr. Gilmore to look into himself, judge, and be a man. If you did it, spare your wife, family, loved ones, supporters, and the taxpayer a bunch of grief. If you did it own up.
If you can honestly take that look and say “no, I didn't do it”, then fight like an animal. Remember though, it's not about guilt or innocence, but rather about what you can convince a jury to believe.
Coloradoan Story: Investigators say at time of his arrest Penny Flats fire suspect had 'blistering, peeling' wounds
Corresponding story: Evidence linking Fort Collins fire to activist detailed (not quoted)
Author: Robert Allen
Quote (1/21/2012 Updated story):
A judge today bound over for trial all seven charges - including attempted murder and arson - against Benjamin David Gilmore in the case of the Oct. 24 Penny Flats fire.
The lead Fort Collins police detective investigating the fire testified in today's evidentiary hearing that when suspect Benjamin David Gilmore was arrested, he had blistering, peeling wounds on his hand and foot.Gilmore was arrested after investigators found a watch engraved with his name at the downtown Fort Collins fire scene, according to Detective Mike Averch.
After that, police began to watch Gilmore and saw him testify at a Fort Collins City Council meeting wearing black gloves and on another occasion with a bandage on his hand.Gilmore, 30, a local beekeeper and Occupy Fort Collins activist, was arrested Nov. 4 on arson charges.
…Benjamin Gilmore was taken into custody near Picnic Rock, according to police testimony. Following his arrest, authorities searched Gilmore's vehicle and found a black hooded sweatshirt, fire wood, a gas can, start sticks and gauze with bodily secretions on it, according to police testimony.
This month, the Larimer County District Attorney's Office added a second arson count, a second criminal mischief count and two attempted first-degree murder charges to the original arson charge in the case.Earlier during today's preliminary hearing, prosecutors showed a cell phone video of the fire shot by a third-floor Penny Flats resident who reported seeing a man wearing a black hoodie and green pants running from the scene, according to prosecutors.
…Gilmore was an early supporter of Occupy Fort Collins, which had set up camp a block away from where the fire burned. Days before his arrest, he addressed City Council asking the city to be more accommodating to the movement.
Gilmore faces a total of seven counts, all felonies. The attempted murder counts, class 2 felonies, carry sentences on conviction of eight to 24 years in prison. The two arson and two criminal mischief counts are class 3 felonies, each with possible penalties of four to 12 years in prison.…