"Guilty, but mentally ill" Jury convicts man for setting fire to Bridgeton Bridge

A verdict has been reached in the trial of a man that was charged with setting fire to a Parke County covered bridge.

Posted: Apr 13, 2018 4:13 PM
Updated: Apr 13, 2018 6:40 PM

PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - A Parke County man faces several years in prison for the burning of a historic bridge more than a decade ago.

On Friday, a jury found Jesse Payne guilty, but mentally ill on three arson charges.

The jury also delivered a guilty verdict on a habitual offender charge.

This verdict means a judge will sentence Payne, but the Indiana Department of Corrections will evaluate his mental state.

Payne was previously found not fit to stand trial, which led to the long delay.

One of the arson counts comes from the Bridgeton Covered Bridge fire in 2005.

Police believe he planned to burn down the Mansfield Bridge the same night.

In all, Payne faces 90 years in prison.

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