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Opening Arguments Heard In Little Nashville Opry Arson Trial

A former Opry employee and witness for the prosecution said the defendant James Bowyer acted erratically the night of the fire.

Little Nashville Opry

Photo: Flickr (b_nicodemus)

Seventy-seven year-old James Bowyer is accused of setting the Little Nashville Opry on fire in 2009.

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.

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