3 indicted in carbon monoxide deaths at Aspen-area home | VailDaily.com

3 indicted in carbon monoxide deaths at Aspen-area home

Rick CarrollThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado
Aspen Times fileThe house at 10 Popcorn Lane, outside of Aspen, where a family of four was found dead in November 2008.

ASPEN – A Pitkin County grand jury has indicted three people in connection to the carbon monoxide poisoning deaths of a Denver family of four over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2008.Glenwood Springs resident Marlin Brown and Erik Peltonen of Basalt were both indicted on four class-five felony charges of criminally negligent homicide, Assistant Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin said Sunday. Both were served with arrest warrants Friday, and were released on personal recognizance bonds of $11,000 each, Mordkin said.Peltonen and Brown also were indicted on four counts of reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. A third person, Brian Pawl, also was indicted on the misdemeanor counts, Mordkin said. Pawl does not face felony charges, according to Mordkin.Peltonen and Brown could not be reached at their residences Sunday. Pawl’s number is not listed.According to Mordkin, Brown owns Roaring Fork Plumbing & Heating, which installed the boiler and pipes at the residence at 10 Popcorn Lane residence, located east of Aspen. That’s where the bodies of Parker Lofgren, 39; his wife, Caroline Lofgren, 42; and their children, Sophie, 8, and Owen, 10, were found in a bedroom by friends a day after Thanksgiving Day 2008.Peltonen, who is now retired, was the building inspector for the residence, Mordkin said.Pawl works as a building-plan examiner and field inspector for Pitkin County.The indictments were delivered by the panel, comprised of 12 jurors and two alternates, on Thursday, July 22, Mordkin said.”We don’t expect any more indictments,” he said.The criminally negligent homicide charges carry presumptive sentences ranging from one to three years in prison. The four separate charges against Brown and Peltonen represent each death in the Lofgren family, Mordkin noted.All three defendants are scheduled to make their first appearance Aug. 16 in Pitkin County District Court.The indictments come nearly a year after the grand jury convened on July 31, 2009. Its session was set to expire at the end of this month.Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless and colorless gas that is created when fuels, such as gasoline, natural gas and propane, burn incompletely.It is poisonous and can kill cells of the body. It also replaces oxygen in the bloodstream, which leads to suffocation.The home where the Lofgrens died was not fitted with a carbon monoxide detector, authorities said. The finding was made during an investigation by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, which also concluded a faulty hot-water system leaked the gas into the home.The deaths of the Lofgren family, as well as one by a college student in Denver, prompted the creation of House Bill 1091, which requires most homes in the state to now be fitted with CO detectors.rcarroll@aspentimes.com

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