GOLDEN, Colo. -- William Lindauer, who pleaded guilty to stalking his estranged wife, setting their home on fire and spray-painting "My wife is a cheater" on the outside, was sentenced to probation and work release on Monday.
Prosecutors sought prison time for Lindauer, but a Jefferson County District Court judge instead sentenced him to five years probation and four years in the county jail work release program for the March 10 incident.
Lindauer pleaded guilty last month to arson, stalking and reckless endangerment. He also had faced animal cruelty charges stemming from the death of a fish named Purple Pete in the fire.
The Lindauers were married in 2004 and separated in 2013. They reconciled but prosecutors said Brianne Lindauer became so afraid of her husband that she took their children and moved out of the home.
Brianne Lindauer told her husband she wanted a divorce and a few days later, William Lindauer poured gasoline in four rooms and set fire to the home on Nelson Street in Arvada, prosecutors said.
Damage was estimated at more than $300,000 and the home was declared a total loss.
“I cannot recall a more egregious example of stalking in a domestic violence case,” Jefferson County District Attorney Pete Weir said in a news release. “He was obsessed with her and wanted to know where she was, and what she was doing, every moment. He harassed her, hacked into her phone and hid a tracking device on her car.
"Then, when Brianne Lindauer told him she wanted a divorce, he went to the home they had shared and set the house on fire. We are very fortunate that no one died or was physically injured.”
Court records said Lindauer was upset because he thought his wife was cheating on him. He purchased a gun and ammunition, leading his wife to question his state of mind. She then took their three children and moved out of the house.
Lindauer told police he bought alcohol and took several shots before the incident. He told investigators the next thing he remembers is walking by a park near Interstate 70 and Lowell Street with an injured hand.
Police said Lindauer was seen by a neighbor riding a bicycle away from the house shortly after the fire.