Five Million Cash-Bond Upheld for Alleged Columbia Arsonist
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 Fotoohi Ghiam, 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, Fotoohi Ghiam hid in an attic during a nine-hour standoff.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Fotoohi Ghiam's attorney argued the bond was excessive. The state contended the bond should not be revoked because the businessman is wealthy and would likely flee to his native Iraq.