The state Court of Appeals has tossed out the 12-year state prison sentence given to the woman who started the largest wildfire in Colorado history.
The court says Terry Lynn Barton should have received a jury trial, because her punishment was much longer than the two- to six-year term called for in state sentencing guidelines.
The court says the judge instead based the sentence on the fact that she worked for the Forest Service and the catastrophic effects of the 2002 Hayman fire southwest of Denver.
The fire burned more than 137,000 acres and 300 buildings. Property losses reached some $29 million.
The court has ordered a new sentencing hearing -- before a new judge.
Barton is also serving a six-year federal sentence. She pleaded guilty in state and federal court to charges stemming from the fire.
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