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Longmont arson suspect accused of threatening detective, prosecutor

By Pierrette J. Shields and Longmont Times-Call | March 29, 2012 at 6:04 pm

BOULDER — A Longmont man accused of arson last summer threatened loved ones of both the Boulder County prosecutor and the Longmont police detective on the case, according to court records.

Conrad Nilsson, 31, on Thursday waived a preliminary hearing on felony charges of witness intimidation and attempting to influence a public servant. Adams County prosecutor Brian Mason, who was brought into Boulder District Court to prosecute both the arson and intimidation cases because the threats against Boulder County prosecutor Michael Foote created a conflict of interest for the local district attorney’s office, said Nilsson is expected to return to court May 25 for arraignment in the intimidation case. Nilsson is scheduled for an August trial on the arson charges.

According to Nilsson’s arrest warrant affidavit, Longmont cyber crime detectives believe Nilsson sent threatening emails to Longmont Police Detective Greg Malsam on Nov. 29 and Dec. 28. The first email, which was sent to the detective’s work account, demanded an apology to “you know who” and referenced Malsam’s ex-wife’s name. A second email sent on Dec. 27 referenced Malsam’s ex-wife’s daughter’s name and said that her background information had been sent to 13 registered sex offenders who live within a mile of her home.

“(E)very single one of them expressed gratitude for the pics and background check on her (I) sent them. (A)ll you had to do is apologize. (N)ow it is too late,” the email read.

Investigators researched Nilsson as a suspect because in September he distributed fliers in Longmont calling for an independent public review board of Longmont police officers and listed Malsam’s name among the five local officers he accused of corruption. No board was ever formed, but Malsam led the investigation into the arson case.

Nilsson was arrested in July and charged in Boulder County Court on three counts of first-degree arson and one count of attempt to influence a public servant, which are felonies, and two misdemeanor counts of carrying a concealed weapon. He is accused of starting fires in June and July, including one at a storage facility at 422 Mountain View Ave., and two at spaces in a mobile home park at 525 15th Ave. Police caught up with Nilsson on the 1000 block of Corey Street after a woman reported that she saw a suspicious man in the alley. When an officer stopped to talk with him, he placed something in his pocket, provided a false name and walked away. Police reported he matched the description of the arsonist caught on surveillance videos.

Boulder County prosecutor Michael Foote, who was prosecuting the arson case, reported on Dec. 27 that he received an anonymous email that noted that there are 11 registered sex offenders within 1 mile of his home and that his daughter’s background information would be sent to them unless “you issue a genuine apology to me within 24 hours of this email being sent.”

Nilsson was on GPS monitoring when the emails were sent, according to court records. Detectives tracked his movements to libraries where the emails originated, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. Surveillance video shows a man who matches his description at one of the libraries at the time the emails were sent, according to his arrest warrant affidavit.

Nilsson is at the Boulder County Jail.

Pierrette J. Shields can be reached at 303-684-5273 or

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