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Trial begins for man in Conn. hostage-arson case
Trial begins for man charged with kidnapping ex-wife, burning down Conn. home during standoff
By The Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) ' The trial is under way for a Connecticut man charged with kidnapping his ex-wife and holding her hostage for a dozen hours before burning down the home they once shared during a police standoff.

Richard Shenkman's trial started on Monday in Hartford Superior Court with the judge reading the charges to the jury.

The 62-year-old Shenkman is charged with kidnapping, arson and other crimes in connection with the series of events in 2009.

Police say Shenkman kidnapped his ex-wife, attorney Nancy Tyler, and held her hostage at the South Windsor home they once shared. Authorities say Tyler managed to escape without serious injury about an hour before Shenkman surrendered to police as flames engulfed the home.

Shenkman has pleaded not guilty His lawyer is expected to pursue a mental-illness defense.

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