Southern Indiana Concert Hall Manager Pleads Not Guilty to Arson

A prosecutor says the manager of a southern Indiana concert hall that hosted some of country music’s top acts has pleaded not guilty to arson charges in connection with the 2009 blaze that destroyed the venue.

Brown County Prosecutor Jim Oliver says a judge set James Bowyer’s trial for June 6. Bowyer appeared in court Tuesday with his lawyer.

Oliver has filed additional charges alleging Bowyer set fire to the Little Nashville Opry so he could defraud an insurance company. Court documents show the music hall was insured for more than $3 million.

Those documents say the Opry owed more than $280,000 in property taxes, vendor invoices and insurance and performer fees at the time of the fire.

Defense attorney John Boren didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.