Men who started Cold Springs Fire sentenced to work release, probation

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BOULDER, Colo. -- The two men accused of starting the Cold Springs Fire near Nederland in the summer were sentenced Friday after earlier pleading guilty to felony arson.

Jimmy Andrew Suggs, 28, and Zackary Ryan Kuykendall, 26, were sentenced to four years of work release and four years probation by Boulder District Judge Ingrid Bakkee.

The two also must pay restitution which could be up to $1.25 million.

The fire burned more than 500 acres and destroyed eight homes near Nederland.

"How does the criminal justice system react to this type of a case, where I'm absolutely convinced there was no malice?" Bakke said, according to the Boulder Daily Camera. "This was a mistake. But I can't ignore that it's felony behavior despite the fact there was no intent whatsoever to cause this type of damage."

Suggs and Kuykendall apologized in court before being sentenced.

"I want to apologize to all the people in Nederland, for all the damage and all the fear," Suggs said. "All the stuff and all the memories in their dwellings, they no longer have that. ... I'm fully responsible for what I've done, and I'm wiling to spend the rest of my life paying them back.

"I never meant for any of this to happen."

Kuykendall said he was "fully aware of the devastation this caused," and added he was "willing to spend the rest of my life," paying it back.

Earlier this month, the woman who camped with Suggs and Kuykendall, 21-year-old Elizabeth Burdeshaw, pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor second-degree trespassing and was sentenced to nine months of probation and 36 hours of community service as part of a plea deal.

Court documents said Suggs, Kuykendall and Brudeshaw camped for several days, and that the men from Alabama only used rocks to put out a campfire.

Kuykendall and Suggs were each charged with one count of fourth-degree arson -- endangering people and one count of fourth-degree arson -- endangering property.