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A federal jury ruled that the former owner of the Richmond Hill Inn participated in the intentional burning of the historic structure nearly four years ago.
The judgment in a lawsuit means the ownership group, The Hammocks LLC, won’t be able to collect on a $6 million insurance policy taken out on the property overlooking the French Broad River. ... The property was in foreclosure at the time of the blaze, and investigators said the sprinkler system had been turned off and they found evidence that a petroleum product was used to start the fire.
Buddy Thompson of the Asheville-Buncombe Arson Task Force said he doesn’t know if there ever will be an arrest. ... Thompson said the jury’s conclusion in the civil trial doesn’t mean there’s enough evidence to bring criminal charges.