A Brown County court heard opening arguments today in the Little Nashville Opry arson trial.
James Bowyer, 77, is accused of setting the building on fire in 2009. Prosecutors allege he did so to collect $3 million in insurance money.
Former Little Opry employee Gary Weidner was the main witness in today’s testimony. Weidner testified Bowyer said he was “tired of keeping the place afloat.”
Weidner also testified Bowyer told him twice that they would need to cut the show short the evening of the fire.
Other witnesses who testified today included a member of the volunteer fire department and a sheriff’s deputy who were among the first on the scene of the fire.
Prosecutors say they will call over 50 witnesses. The trial is expected to last at least two weeks.