Colorado Officials Make Arrest after 7-Month Fire Investigation

April 10, 2006

Authorities arrested a 46-year-old man for allegedly starting four fires in Rifle, Colo., on Labor Day last year that destroyed two businesses and damaged two other structures.

Robin Jay Clifton, of Collbran, faces 13 felony counts, including first degree arson, second degree burglary, criminal mischief, attempted manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence. He was being held at Garfield County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Clifton’s arrest came after a 7-month investigation.

The fires started on the morning of Sept. 5, with the first reported shortly after 3 a.m. and the last reported an hour and a half later. Authorities determined all four were the result of arson and were related.

Authorities estimated the damage at nearly $1.6 million.

Clifton was arrested four days before the fires for aggravated motor vehicular theft, larceny, and indecent exposure, according to court records. There also was an arrest warrant for him out of Mesa County. He posted bond and was released from the Garfield County Jail the next day.

Clifton was scheduled to appear in district court. If convicted, he could face up to 24 years in prison.

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