Martin Espinoza has been formally charged with 55 counts in relation to a giant condominium fire in Adams County that forced hundreds of people out of their homes.
But in a sprawling post shared on his Facebook page, Espinoza, twenty, claims his innocence, complains about being singled out as a suspect by authorities and laments that "my mother's house fucking burned down that day."
Photos, video and the entire Facebook post below.
The fire sparked on March 4, engulfing the Corona Village condominium complex located near 88th and Corona in Adams County, as seen in this image from CBS4's coverage.
Suspicion in regard to the blaze, which destroyed a dozen condos and damaged half-a-dozen more, quickly focused on Espinoza, who'd been spotted on the day of the conflagration -- and scented, too. Investigators cited by the station maintain that he smelled of fire and lighter fluid.
Court documents further maintain that Espinoza, who allegedly made a habit of playing with fire in his youth, had just been thrown out of a condo owned by his mom. She's said to have left his belongings outside near a propane tank and some firewood.
Two days later, on March 6, Espionza posted about his status as a suspect on his Facebook page.
According to him, he'd been hauled in to the police station for questioning "because I was one of the first ones on scene," and after waiting for hours, he told his story -- and was promptly informed that "I had not been completely honest."
This contention clearly frustrated Espinoza: "My mother's house fucking burned down that day and the detectives who had questioned me kept accusing me as being the cause of it."
They also demanded that Espinoza provide them with the clothes he'd worn, so the items could be tested.
At first, Espinoza maintains that he was offered sweats after shedding his garb, but then a detective said, "'Don't give him sweats,' and handed me paper clothing."
The outfit only contributed to him becoming an object of abuse, he claims.
Continue for more about the charges against Martin Espinoza, including photos and a video. When Espinoza walked into the substation in his paper duds, he writes that he was harassed by detectives and their supervisors -- so much so that he thought "I was about to get jumped."
That didn't happen, and the division chief ultimately gave him some sweats. But when he couldn't get a ride home following his interview, he notes that "I walked three-to-four miles home in the freezing rain with no shoes on because they had been taken for evidence." He describes his experience as "a prime example of how our legal system really works."
He'll get more close-up views of the process going forward. He turned himself in to authorities on March 7, the day after posting his Facebook account, and he's now facing 55 criminal counts, including ten accusations of both attempted first-degree murder and a crime of violence, as well as 31 pertaining to first-degree arson.
Look below to see the latest CBS4 report and the complete, unedited Facebook post.
Martin Espinoza's March 6 Facebook post:
My mother's house burned down. On some real truth, I got taken in to answer questions cause I was one of the first ones on scene, I waited 3 - 4 hours for a police interview. When I was finally interviewed I gave my piece and part of the story, but was told that I had not been completely honest. My mother's house fucking burned down that day and the detectives who had questioned me kept accusing me as being the cause of it, After the interview I was asked to give up every piece of clothing I had on so it could be taken as evidence then offered sweats. One of the detectives said don't give him sweats and handed me paper clothing. I walked out into the substation in paper clothing and was repeatedly harassed by detectives and the division chief who continually said I burned families out of homes and that they would enjoy hunting me down for this case. I was taken into a break room where they told me there was a courtesy phone to call for a ride, when I got into the room I saw no phone but was immediately surrounded by detectives and got the clear vibe that I was about to get jumped, I stood up and got ready to fight back but just then a detective mentioned that it could cause a mistrial which caused everyone to back off. I was asked if I wanted to call for a ride, but I said noone would pick me up and said I would walk. The division chief was nice enough to give me sweats and take back the paper clothing due to the fact it was cold outside. I walked 3 to 4 miles home in the freezing rain with no shoes on because they had been taken for evidence. I feel that this is a prime example of how our legal system really works and would like my story to be heard. Me and my immediate family lost everything in that fire. My mother's whole life was in that home as well as mine and my sister's. I feel that I was the only one who had their clothes taken for evidence and was treated the way that I was. I am currently staying with friends and couch surfing with nothing but the sweats given to me at the substation.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa December 2013: "Benjamin Gilmore sentenced for arson linked to Occupy: See the film that claims he's innocent."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.