Suspect In Little Nashville Opry Fire Bonds Out Of Jail
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Little Nashville Opry arson suspect James Bowyer is out of jail today after posting bond when his first court appearance was delayed.
The 75-year-old was arrested Tuesday accused of burning down the music house in September of 2009 to collect on a $3 million insurance policy purchased by the hall’s owner. Bowyer was the Opry’s manager.
Bowyer’s friend doesn’t think he’s guilty.
“I don’t believe a person would put their whole life and soul, that many hours into a place he didn’t love. He had nothing to gain by doing that,” Cindy Hayman said.
Court documents show Bowyer had made more than 650 visits to casinos in the four years leading up to the blaze, losing over $160,000.
Esther Hamilton, who owned the theater, was gambling more frequently and was nearly $600,000 in debt at the time of the fire. She was not charged by the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigators said in a court affidavit they found traces of ignitable liquid where the fire had been started on the stage.