A man suspected of starting a barn fire last week that killed four horses, including three sons of Shining Lil Nic, is in custody in another state, officials say.
Christopher Thomas Reyes, 30, of Aurora, Colorado, is accused in an arrest warrant of felony first-degree arson, criminal mischief and four counts cruelty to animals for the Oct. 1 fire that destroyed a barn rural Boulder County, Colorado, said Boulder County Sheriff’s Commander Mike Wagner.
He was being held Friday on an unrelated charge in central Utah.
Reyes is the son of barn owners David Reyes and Ronda Hackbart Reyes, Wagner said.
Four horses were killed when the Reyes family’s barn burned down during the early morning hours of Oct. 1. Three of the horses were geldings by Shining Lil Nic (Smart Shiner x Dig a Lil Nic x Diggers Rest), and two of the buckskin reined cow horse stallion’s sons that perished – Lil Joe Namath and Shining Lil Murph – had earned money in the National Reined Cow Horse Association.
Janiejill Tointon, a family friend and owner of Shining Lil Nic, said the four horses killed in the fire were “just letting [the family] learn on them.” She and her husband, Bill, had sold the horses to their friends, and their daughter, Monique Potts, had given the family lessons after the purchase. She said the Reyes family had hoped to show the horses some day, but hadn’t yet ventured into the show pen.
It was not clear if Christopher Reyes had been formally charged with the fire-related charges. He remained jailed in Sevier County, Utah, late last week.
Additional details were not immediately available.