Defense begins its case in Susan Lukjan arson trial - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Defense begins its case in Susan Lukjan arson trial

Posted: Updated:

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The defense has begun to make its case in the trial of a local businesswoman accused of torching her own business for money.

Prosecutors are trying to depict Susan Lukjan as financially struggling and someone who wanted to cash in on insurance claims when Campbell's Gourmet Cottage caught fire in 2006.  The defense says the claims have no merit and they hope to prove she paid up on her bills shortly before the fire.

A local accountant reviewed financial records from Campbell's Gourmet Cottage both before and after the fire in 2006.  She testified that while there is documentation of late payments, that's not uncommon for small businesses.  Helen Cohen, a CPA with Blue & Co., said, "I just don't see this type of what I would regard as financial stress in Campbell's Gourmet Cottage."

Documents reveal the fire caused a loss of more than $230,000, and that's just what Lukjan reportedly claimed on her $500,000 insurance policy.

Lukjan's first arson conviction was overturned and despite being offered a plea deal that would have freed her immediately, she says she is going to trial a second time to clear her name.

Previous stories:
Jury hears evidence on fire investigation in Susan Lukjan trial
Opening statements begin in second Susan Lukjan trial

Copyright 2013 WDRB News.  All rights reserved.

  • Closed CaptioningMore>>

  • Closed Captioning Message

    Thanks to a grant from Norton Healthcare, this story and others are available in real-time closed captioning on WDRB.
    Thanks to a grant from Norton Healthcare, this story and others are available in real-time closed captioning on WDRB.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.