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Covered Bridge Arsonist Found Insane

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May 19, 2020: Anita Larkin Ford has passed along this information from the INDIANA LAWYER website. Katie Stancombe is reporting that the Indiana Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a covered bridge arsonist due to insanity.

Jesse Payne had been convicted of burning the Jeffries Ford Bridge (WGN 14-61-03x) in 2002, the Bridgeton Bridge (WGN 14-61-04x) in 2005, and the attempted arson of the Mansfield Bridge (WGN 14-61-20) in 2005. At that time he was sentenced to a total of 90 years in prison. However, he was also found to be mentally ill on all counts.

Click here for the complete details of this complicated legal decision: 3-2 Supreme Court reverses, finds covered bridge arsonist insane.

Here is our story from the 2002 fire: Jeffries Ford Bridge Destroyed!.

Here is our story from the 2005 arson: Bridgeton Covered Bridge Burned, Arson Indicated.


Our thanks to Anita Larkin Ford for passing this story on to us - Ed.

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