Susan Lukjan continues to defend herself on witness stand - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Susan Lukjan continues to defend herself on witness stand

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- The woman accused of torching her St. Matthews business was back on the stand Wednesday morning defending herself.

Susan Lukjan is accused of setting fire to Campbell's Gourmet Cottage in 2006 to cash in on insurance.   Documents reveal the fire caused more than $230,000 in damage, and lawyers questioned her about finances.

But Lukjan says she received threats from outsiders about her business, which was near Trinity High School:  "It was threatening that something would happen to my building after a game."  Lukjan said children even pointed BB guns at her business.

Lukjan's first arson conviction was overturned on appeal.  She chose to go to trial a second time rather than take a plea deal, she says, to prove her innocence.

The defense also called an expert witness to the stand, Prof. William Hicks, from Eastern Kentucky University, to testify.  Hicks, an Associate Professor of Safety Security Emergency Management, said he believed there were some flaws in the initial investigation performed by the Louisville Fire Metro Arson Squad.  He said Mjr. Henry Ott would have gotten an "F" in his Capstone class.  Hicks said an electrical engineer was not able to do a proper inspection until ten months after the incident. 

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