SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors are dropping charges filed in a July 4 fireworks blaze after defense attorneys say they showed evidence the man’s house was too far away to have started the fire.

A lawyer for 49-year-old Richard Otterstrom of Cottonwood Heights says he’s relieved after the misdemeanor reckless burning case was dismissed Friday.

Attorney Nathan Crane says his client of was one several neighbors lighting fireworks that night, and his weren’t capable of reaching where the fire started more than 200 yards away.

District Attorney Sim Gill says his office declined to bring charges after it became clear the evidence didn’t support the accusations.

The grass fire in suburban Salt Lake City caused some $1,500 in damage to a house, fences and a shed.

Otterstrom had faced up to a year in jail.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.