Barton Allowed to Return Home

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The woman accused of starting the largest wildfire in Colorado history can be released from a halfway house but must be monitored electronically.

A federal judge made that ruling Monday morning in the case of 38 year old Terry Barton. She has pleaded not guilty to four federal charges including arson and injuring a firefighter.

The former U.S. Forest Service employee stands accused of starting a fire near Lake George June 8th that destroyed 133 homes and blackened 137,000 acres.

Prosecutors argued that Barton should remain in a halfway house as a condition of her release on $600,000 bail. They said allowing her to leave would place her under additional stress, and questioned whether electronic monitoring is effective.

U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch disagreed, saying he has found
the devices are usually effective. He also said Barton would probably be under more stress in the halfway house. Matsch says court officials will have to approve the home that Barton will live in and says she can leave the halfway house as soon as that occurs.

Barton's attorney says she has at least two homes available to
her. He would not elaborate.

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