Denver (AP) _ A deal is a deal. That's the ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court that ruled prosecutors could not withdraw
their plea agreement with a woman who admitted starting the worst
wildfire in Colorado’s history.
The ruling yesterday raises the possibility that Terry Barton
could be released after serving a six year federal prison term for
setting the June 2002 Hayman Fire.
In January 2003, Barton pleaded guilty to state and federal arson
charges for the June 2002 fire that scorched 138 thousand acres and
destroyed 133 homes. Prosecutors agreed to let Barton serve her
state sentence concurrently with the federal charge.
A judge however sentenced Barton to 12 years in prison on the
state charge, double the maximum because of aggravating factors.
That sentence was overturned in 2004.
Barton appealed that sentence because the judge lived near the
fire and voluntarily evacuated.