Rachel Lewin sentencing: Arson after String Cheese Incident show inspired by fire twirling

In April, we told you about the 22-year sentence for Lucas Piper after he tried to burn down the home of people he'd met at a String Cheese Incident concert.

Now, Rachel Lewin, Piper's girlfriend, has been given a decade-plus jail jolt of her own -- and prosecutors say the whole thing started due to anger over a fire-twirling demonstration gone wrong.

As we reported in an August 2013 post, Lakewood Police Department spokesman Steve Davis told us that Piper and Lewin attended the String Cheese Incident concert at Red Rocks on July 26 -- a gig that inspired a Westword slide show.

Afterward, they were invited to the home of James Bartlett, who lives in a duplex on the 12300 block of West Viewpoint Drive -- not that they were pals. "Before that night, the home owner and Lewin and Piper were not acquainted with one another," Davis said. "They apparently met that night. Piper and Lewin were invited to the house and the concert by someone all of them knew who never showed up." Piper and Lewin are said to have arrived at the address after midnight on Saturday, July 27, with others filtering in afterward. Davis noted that Piper was introduced to Bartlett and others there not by his given name, but as "Sky."

Another witness -- Conner Wood, described as a friend of Bartlett's -- told investigators that Piper subsequently got into a conversation that turned sour. "They were talking about different kinds of drugs," Davis told us, "and Wood said Sky didn't take kindly to it; he called Sky a rude person."

After that, Wood and a friend left for a while -- and upon his return, Davis quoted him as saying, "Sky was upset about something."

What pissed him off? The First Judicial District DA's office maintains that folks had gathered around a bonfire in the backyard, where one of the residents "began to demonstrate his hobby of 'fire twirling' for the group."

In the process, three people were injured -- including Piper, who stormed off while saying he was going to burn the house down.

Continue for more about the sentencing of Rachel Lewin, including additional photos.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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