Defense rests in Carbondale arson trial
August 21, 2009
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Attorneys for Larry Gerbaz finished presenting their case Thursday in the arson trial of their client.
Closing arguments will be made Friday morning by the prosecutor and defense attorneys, then the jury will receive instructions from Garfield County District Judge Daniel Petre before it begins deliberations.
Gerbaz, 61, was charged with two counts of fourth degree arson for the County Road 100 fire near Carbondale that occurred in April 2008. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office claimed the wildfire started when embers from a burned wood pile on the Gerbaz property were revived by high winds. Gerbez denied the claims and said he took appropriate care in watching and tending the controlled burn.
Testimony was taken for eight days during the trial. Deputy District Attorney Ed Veronda tried to build a case that Gerbaz’s wood pile was the origin of the wildfire. Defense attorneys Tom Silverman and Joe Kirwan tried to show that numerous fires in the neighborhood east of Carbondale on and immediately before April 15 could have been the source.