A Knox man accused of setting his business on fire will not stand trial a second time. C&C Salvage owner James Campbell’s second proceeding was supposed to start Monday. He was arrested on an arson charge about two weeks after a fire destroyed his business on U.S. 35 at Toto Road in March of 2014. A jury trial last March ended with a hung jury following 12 hours of deliberations.
The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to a second trial after uncovering new evidence. It was to come in the form of testimony by Campbell’s former employee Tim Graves. His testimony during the original trial was a critical part of the prosecution’s case. Graves is experiencing significant health problems and is not available to testify next week.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mary Ryan sought a continuance during a Tuesday court appearance, but Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall denied that request. Campbell’s attorney Steven Kray noted the transcript of Graves’ previous testimony can be offered to the jury if he is not able to be there in person. Rather than proceed without Graves’ live testimony, Ryan opted to file a motion to dismiss the charges. The law requires the presiding judge to grant such a motion.