Mistrial declared for Higbee man who allegedly burned wife, house

Willard Hunt accused of lighting wife, house on fire in 2013

CARROLLTON, Mo. - The trial of a Higbee man accused of lighting his wife and house on fire in 2013 was scheduled to start Thursday morning.

Randolph County Judge Scott Hays declared a mistrial Thursday after lab results that both attorneys had not received from an agency were discussed in open court.

Both attorneys, including Randolph County Prosecutor Mike Fusselman, agreed. Judge Hays then reset Hunt's jury trial for October 14th, 2014.

Jury selection was set for 8 a.m. in Carrollton. Willard Hunt was granted a change of venue for the trial, arguing the extensive media coverage of the crime.

Hunt was charged with arson, domestic assault and armed criminal action for the attack on June 17, 2013. He was being held on $200,000 bond.

Prosecutors said Hunt threw gasoline on his wife and then lit her with a cigarette lighter.

Randolph County Prosecutor Fusselman told ABC 17 News the trial had been scheduled for two days, but could wrap up in one.

Fusselman added that he planned to call five witnesses.

Hunt's wife Connie continued to recover after being in critical condition at University Hospital for burns.

Hunt previously served time in Oklahoma prison on a 30 year sentence in 1991, but was paroled in 2001.

Stay with ABC 17 News and for updates throughout the trial.

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