By BRIAN ROGERS
The former Gallery Furniture employee accused of starting the spectacular four-alarm fire that caused $25 million in damage to the flagship store’s warehouse made a jailhouse threat to kill store owner Jim McIngvale, prosecutors told a judge this morning.
News of the threat prompted state District Judge Mary Lou Keel to deny a request from Robert Gillham’s attorneys to lower the 67-year-old’s $500,000 bail to $50,000.
In court, prosecutor Steve Baldassano said Gillham told a family member visiting him in the Montgomery County jail that he was going to kill McIngvale, known for his commercials as “Mattress Mack.” The family member alerted authorities, Baldassano said.
Gillham was jailed in Montgomery County after being accused of burglary of a habitation in an April 23 incident in which he is alleged to have confronted a woman at her home demanding money he was owed.
Defense attorney Skip Lanz argued that Gillham, a long-time salesman at the store, could have tried to hurt McIngvale years ago, if that was his intent. Read more.