Court upheld conviction of Parke County covered bridge arsonist


(WTWO/WAWV) A State appeals court upheld the 90 year prison sentence for a man convicted of setting fires at two Parke County covered bridges.

Jesse Payne was arrested in 2005, but a judge determined he was not competent to stand trial due to his mental illness.

He was treated at a mental hospital for several years.
In 2017, he was found ready to stand trial for the fires that destroyed the Bridgeton Covered Bridge and damaged the bridge in Mansfield.

Both are popular spots during the Covered Bridge Festival.

Payne was convicted of those arsons.

The appeals court rejected arguments from Payne’s lawyers that he was improperly found guilty.
The lawyers argued that during Payne’s trial doctors testified he was schizophrenic and insane when the fires happened.

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