Trial continues for owner accused of burning down store
Updated On: Jan 10 2014 04:41:27 PM CST
The trial continues for a former Jefferson City business owner accused of arson.
Kurt Steidley is on trial for allegedly setting Everhart's Sporting Goods on fire three years ago.
Thursday, the jury heard from the prosecution's witnesses.
The day began with prosecution playing a recording of Steidley's initial statements to fire officials.
In this recording, Steidley stated that he did not start the fire and was not in the building the day of the fire.
Then, a witness came to the stand who testified that the day of the fire Steidley called him from the building saying he smelled gas.
He then said Steidley jokingly asked him how much gas it would take to blow up his building.
The witness then said Steidley called him again later the same day saying he fell off a shelf at the building and hit his head and somehow ended up in his truck.
He also said Steidley asked him not to tell anyone that he had been in the building that day.
On Friday, the jury heard from a forensic auditor who told them Steidley's building was one month away from foreclosure at the time of the fire.
The defense then called Steidley's wife to the stand. She stated that Steidley did tell her that he was at the building the day of the fire and that he smelled gas there. His wife testified that Steidley did have a head injury that day, but he told her he got it at the family farm.
The prosecution then brought up emergency room records that stated he was treated for a head injury that night. The cause of the injury was listed as falling off of a shelf.
The trial is adjourned for the weekend and will resume on Monday at 9 a.m. at the Cole County Courthouse.
The defense says Steidley himself will testify.
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