Suspect in Conn. arson, standoff turns down deal

AP News
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Posted: Jul 15, 2011 8:16 AM
Suspect in Conn. arson, standoff turns down deal

A man charged with burning a Connecticut house to the ground after holding his ex-wife hostage in it for hours has turned down a plea offer from prosecutors.

Lawyers said in court Thursday that Richard Shenkman plans to go on trial on kidnapping, attempted murder and arson charges stemming from the 2009 standoff at his ex-wife's home in South Windsor.

Police said Shenkman kidnapped Nancy Tyler in Hartford on July 7, 2009 and held her hostage during a standoff with police at the South Windsor house. Tyler managed to escape without serious injury, and Shenkman surrendered as flames engulfed the home.

Hugh Keefe, Shenkman's attorney, has indicated he may pursue a mental-illness defense.

Shenkman is due back in court on Sept. 7.