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Trial continues for man accused of arson in Cole County

A trial is underway for a man accused of starting a fire at a Jefferson City store on New Year’s Day in 2011.

55-year-old Kurt Steidley of Knob Noster is charged in Cole County with second degree arson for the fire at Everhart’s Outdoors in Jefferson City. This is the second time Steidley has gone to trial for the charges.

Everhart’s was located at on the 2400 block of Missouri Boulevard andwas not in operation at the time of the blaze. The storehad been closed since December 24, 2010.

The fire was investigated by Jefferson City firefighters, the Missouri Division of Fire Safety, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Jury selection started at 9 Monday morning at the Cole County Courthouse in Jefferson City. Opening statements got underway Tuesday morning and around 11:30 Tuesday morning, the prosecution had started calling witnesses.

On Friday morning the prosecution was stillcalling witnesses. Most of those witnesses were from theBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Prosecutors were examining the arson investigation down to each question asked of Steidley. Officials say the trial could last until Monday or Tuesday.

A Cole County jury convicted Steidley of second degree arson on January 13, 2014. Steidley was scheduled to be sentenced March 12, 2014, but his defense attorney asked for a retrial that day. Steidley’s attorney said there was a disclosure violation during the original trial. Cole County Judge Daniel Green took the motion for a new trial under advisement that day.

He later ordered a new trial for Steidley saying,”The court finds that the court erred in failing to grant a remedy to the defendant on the second occasion that the defendant’s previously undisclosed statement was mentioned by the state resulting in prejudice to the defendant.”

ABC 17 News will keep following the latest developments in this trial. We’ll keep updating this story as we learn more.

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