Bond to remain at $5 million for Columbia businessman
COLUMBIA (AP) - A Columbia businessman charged with hiring a man to set a fire will remain in jail on a $5 million cash-only bond.
A Boone County judge Friday ruled bond wouldn't be reduced for 60-year-old Mehrdad Fotoohighiam, charged with first-degree arson. Prosecutors allege he paid a man $500 to set a trailer on fire because it was on land he wanted to expand his electrical engineering business. A woman in the mobile home suffered second-degree burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.
When officers tried to arrest him, Fotoohighiam hid in an attic during a nine-hour standoff.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Fotoohighiam's attorney argued the bond was excessive. The state contended the bond should be revoked because the businessman is wealthy and would likely flee to his native Iraq.