Auto-shop owner takes the stand in arson trial

Auto-shop owner takes the stand in arson trial
Motives became murky and attorneys debated expert testimonies Friday as a Columbus arson trial continued.

One major witness prosecutors called to testify was the owner of the auto shop that went up in flames, but one thing he said could possibly help the defense.

Tim Tramel Sr. described what happened the night before he got a phone call from Columbus firefighters saying his auto shop, Tim's Foreign Car Service, was on fire. Tramel described how a group of men were hanging out at his shop and started horsing around.

He says the defendant Robert Wright wanted to join in, but scared of a possible lawsuit if he got injured, Tramel said no.

When prosecutors asked, "Did he say anything to you about not being able to box?" Tramel said, "No sir not really, I mean he wasn't upset about it, it didn't seem like it or anything like that."

A GBI analyst also took the stand, saying paint samples found at the scene of the crime match samples from the defendant's car, but she couldn't validate that they were from the same source, only that they had matching chemical make-up.

The trial is set to continue Monday morning.

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