Trial in 2000 fire will finally begin in October

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 3, 2002

A trial for Woodgrains Furniture owner Bryan Timothy Purdie will start Oct. 7 in Freeborn County District Court, nearly two years after a fire Purdie is accused of setting. The prosecutor and defense attorney met in a pre-trial hearing Friday and talked about the jury selection process.

During the 12-day trial, Assistant County Attorney David Walker plans to call more than 20 witnesses, attempting to prove first-degree arson and insurance fraud charges.

Purdie is accused of setting fire to his downtown business on Dec. 6, 2000, in an attempt to defraud his insurance company. The furniture shop on Broadway just to the south of Main Street has been closed since then.

Email newsletter signup

The trial has seen numerous delays. Purdie initially had a private attorney, but the court appointed public defender Stephen Erickson in April due to Purdie’s financial difficulties. All the motions entered prior to April were withdrawn.