Trial Ordered in Apartment Fire That Killed 2

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP) A man accused of starting a fire that killed two people has been ordered to stand trial on murder and arson charges.

Twenty-four-year-old Derrick “Nicky'' Johnson is accused of setting fire to the Castle West Apartments on January 16th to get revenge on his girlfriend for breaking up with him.

She was staying with a resident at the apartments at the time.

At a preliminary hearing that ended Tuesday, prosecutors called Johnson “a jealous man who burned a building to retaliate against his girlfriend'' and then tried to blame it on his cousin.

Defense Attorney Rick Levinson said the fire could have been started by a meth lab in one of the apartments or some other cause.

Johnson is being held without bail. He is scheduled to enter a plea on July 18th.

His cousin, 37-year-old Gene Johnson, is charged with being an accessory. Prosecutors say he helped his cousin flee after the fire but did not help start it.

Gene Johnson is scheduled to stand trial in September.

The fire killed 52-year-old Joe Santoyo and 32-year-old Clemente Perez Salgado. It destroyed 135 units.

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