Trial to begin for man in Conn. hostage-arson case

AP News
Posted: Oct 02, 2011 2:35 PM
Trial to begin for man in Conn. hostage-arson case

A former Connecticut advertising executive is scheduled to go on trial this week on charges that he tried to kill his ex-wife and burned down the home they once shared.

Sixty-two-year-old Richard Shenkman is accused of kidnapping ex-wife Nancy Tyler in July 2009, holding her hostage, then setting fire to the South Windsor home where they once lived. She managed to escape without serious injury. Authorities say Shenkman held police at bay for nearly 13 hours before surrendering as flames engulfed the house.

He has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, kidnapping and arson charges. His lawyer plans to pursue a mental-illness defense. The trial is to begin Monday in Hartford.

Shenkman also is awaiting trial on charges he burned down the couple's beach home in East Lyme in 2007.