LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Just after 8 p.m. Thursday, the jury in the Susan Lukjan arson case reached a verdict. They found her guilty of torching her St. Matthews business, Campbell’s Gourmet Cottage back in 2006.
This was Lukjan’s second trial. She was found guilty in the first one, but that conviction was overturned on appeal. This time around, she was convicted on charges of arson, burning personal property to defraud insurer, and insurance fraud.
Lukjan hugged family and friends as she left the courtroom after the verdict. She had a few harsh words about the legal process.
“It’s nothing but a game. Who plays the best cards and who can out deceive the other and it’s nothing but a deception. It’s pitiful,” Lukjan said.
She also said she plans to appeal again; a revelation that did not shock Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Leland Hulbert. He said they’ll look to avoid that happening during sentencing, “We may talk about…an agreement on the sentence.”
This second trial was supposed to be a chance for Lukjan to clear her name after her first conviction was overturned. “Not only now has the jury found her guilty once, but twice of arson,” Hulbert said. “She committed these offenses and didn’t want to take responsibility, so the only defense she had was to blame law enforcement, blame everyone else. But, the jury said no, you need to be responsible and they found her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
The penalty phase will begin Friday at 10 a.m.