Gilmore, 30, is on trial for seven felony counts related to the Oct. 24 fire that destroyed the Mason Street Flats development while it was under construction, causing $10 million in damage. Charges against him include arson, attempted murder, burglary and criminal mischief.
Gilmore took the stand in his own defense Thursday and continued into Friday. He testified that he learned of the Oct. 24 fire from another Occupy protester hours after the development had burned near the outdoor Occupy outpost on Fort Collins' North College Avenue.
Gilmore said he visited the Occupy hangout that morning and confronted another protester who was boasting about being involved in the fire. Gilmore was not permitted to testify regarding what the alternate suspect he identified said during their conversation because it constitutes hearsay, but Gilmore alluded to a confession by the other protester and a strained discussion with him about it.
"I said, 'Why are you saying you did this?' " Gilmore said, referring to the conversation he said he had with the alternate suspect. "He was very hung over, still kind of drunk."
Gilmore, a beekeeper, has maintained he is innocent of the crime and asserts he was tending bees alone when the fire began. On cross-examination, Chief Deputy District Attorney Emily Humphrey asked about text messages between him and his wife the night of the fire.
Gilmore had stopped returning the text messages she sent him after about 1:30 a.m. She had asked him, "How is your rally?" some 43 seconds after he'd sent her a final message ending, "xoxoxo."
Gilmore said he never got her message, as he was leaving to move hives at five locations across and north of Fort Collins. He said he'd assumed the question about the Occupy rally showed his wife was "fishing" to see if he was really at work. He said nobody can confirm he was working, as a friend who'd planned to help him that night was unavailable.
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