Spencer Sterling, accused of setting two fires in Beaver Creek, found incompetent to stand trial
EAGLE — A Vail Valley man had been out of jail four days when he allegedly set two fires in a Beaver Creek building.
Spencer Sterling’s trial, however, has been postponed indefinitely after state psychiatrists determined that Sterling is incompetent to stand trial. He will remain in a mental hospital in the state’s prison system until he is competent to stand trial, prosecutors said.
Sterling is accused of causing about $30,000 in damages when he allegedly set fires in the offices of the Post Montane and Blue Moose Pizza in Beaver Creek. The fires were quickly extinguished, no one was injured.
Sterling is being held on $30,000 bond.
What police say happened
Sterling was released from the Eagle County jail on Dec. 5, 2017.
Between 2 and 3:35 a.m. Dec. 9, 2017, he was spotted on several security cameras around Beaver Creek, the same day the fires were set.
Sterling was seen on security video walking down a hallway and spraying something on door handles. Eagle County Sheriff’s detectives who investigated discovered that an oily substance had been sprayed on the door handles. It also appeared that holes had been knocked in the drywall to gain access to the office, according to the arrest affidavit.
At 3:35 a.m., a security camera was covered after being sprayed with something, according to the arrest affidavit. Six minutes later, the fire alarm went off.
Sterling told detectives that he had been staying at a Ramada in north Denver and had paid cash for the room.
Detectives built their case for a few more days and arrested Sterling.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.