(Las Animas, CO) -- Thursday, the man accused in the Ft. Lyon Fire from April of 2022 will be in court, this time for a preliminary hearing. Las Animas City Code Enforcement officer Greg Champney has been awaiting this trip to court with the following charges.
Charges Arson 1 5/16/2022 --Status Arrest Only Charge Statute 18-4-102(1) Class F3 (Class 3 Felony) Offense Date From 04/12/2022
Charges Arson 2-damage $100k-$1m Reads 18-4-103 Status Arrest Only Charge Statute 18-4-103(1),(2)(g) Class F3 (Class 3 Felony) Offense Date From 04/12/2022
Charges Arson 4-property $100k-$1m Endangered Reads 18-4-105(2) Status Arrest Only Charge Statute 18-4-105(1),(3)(g) Class F3 (Class 3 Felony) Offense Date From 04/12/2022
Charges Firing Woods/prairie-set Fire Reads 18-13-109 Status Arrest Only Charge Statute 18-13-109(1) Class PO (Unclassified Petty Offense) Offense Date From 04/12/2022
Charges Reckless Endangerment Status Arrest Only Charge Statute 18-3-208 Class M2 (Class 2 Misdemeanor) Offense Date From 04/12/2022
The Fort Lyon fire destroyed two homes near Ft. Lyon and burned nearly 3,000 acres. Multiple agencies were deployed for mutual aid and the state of Colorado deployed a unit to help with relief.
Because animals were harmed in the wildfire, the animal rights group PETA had reached out the district attorney to ask that animal cruelty charges be added to Champney.
(Champney pictured following his arrest at the Bent County Jail)
Champney is the code enforcement officer for the City of Las Animas. He turned himself into the Bent County Sheriff's office, bonded out of jail and has been on paid administrative leave from his job with the city since that time.
His preliminary hearing will force the prosecutor show probable cause to continue with the legal proceedings against him.
The hearing is set for Thursday, October 20, 2022 in Bent County at 1:30.