Jurors deliberating in Lukjan arson case - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jurors deliberating in Lukjan arson case

Posted: Updated:
Jurors are now deliberating in the arson trial of Susan Lukjan. Jurors are now deliberating in the arson trial of Susan Lukjan.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jurors are now deliberating in the arson trial of Susan Lukjan.

Lukjan was charged with deliberately setting a fire that destroyed her business -- Campbell's Gourmet Cottage -- in 2006 so she could collect on an insurance policy.

During Thursday's deliberations, the jury asked if they could have a dictionary -- a request that was refused, the judge saying they had enough guidance in the jury instructions.  A statement arrived from the jury about 3:10 in the afternoon, with them saying they had a "consensus" on two indictments, and a verdict on a third.  The judge said he was assuming that the jury members were saying they were not unanimous on two indictments but were unanimous on one of them.

The judge ruled that the jury must be unanimous on all counts.

A jury found Lukjan guilty of arson in July 2010. She was sentenced to 12 years, but her conviction was overturned on appeal. In its decision, the court of appeals ruled that testimony from an expert witness for the defense was improperly excluded.

The court of appeals ruled Judge Audra Eckerle improperly excluded an expert witness and that financial documents discovered outside the business were illegally obtained by investigators.

On Wednesday, EKU Professor William Hicks testified that Louisville's arson squad did not follow proper protocol and waited 10 months before allowing an electrical engineer to properly inspect the building.

Hicks also said Maj. Henry Ott with the Louisville arson squad would have gotten an "F" in his class based on the way that was handled.

Lukjan also answered questions about the financial health of her business after she purchased it from its previous owners. She said she phased out some products that were doing well and added others.

During questioning, Lukjan told jurors she received threats from outsiders about her business, which was near Trinity High School.

Lukjan said children even pointed BB guns at her business.

She refused to take a plea deal that would have kept her out of jail after her conviction was overturned. She insisted on a second trial to clear her name.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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.