Industry Noize: Trial Begins In Opry Arson

The Little Nashville Opry in southern Indiana was not in financial trouble when the concert hall was destroyed in a fire, its owner testified in the arson trial of the venue’s former manager.

Esther Hamilton testified Jan. 28 in the trial of former Little Nashville Opry manager James Bowyer on charges he set the fire that destroyed the business she started with her late husband in 1975.

Photo: Courtesy WIFU News

Hamilton said sold-out shows with Loretta Lynn and George Jones were on the books in the weeks after the 2009 fire.

Hamilton testified she and Bower were heading to a Shelbyville, Ind., casino after he closed the business for the night when they were called about the fire.

Brown County sheriff’s detective Scott Southerland testified cell phone records showed Bowyer had time to set the fire and make the trip.

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