Times-Tribune Staff Report
Whitley house fire under investigation
A fire Sunday that destroyed a Whitley County house is being investigated to determine if an arsonist set the blaze, according to Goldbug Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dorman Patrick Jr.
The fire happened about 11:30 p.m. at 85 Sonya Court in the Hemlock community.
The fire was reported by neighbors and passersby. Patrick said when firefighters arrived, the one-story house was fully engulfed in flames.
Initially, firefighters didn’t know if anyone lived in the home, but it was later confirmed that no one was inside the house.
The fire is considered suspicious and it has been referred to the Kentucky State Police Post 11-London Arson Division for investigation.
A dozen firefighters and two fire trucks were on scene for about three hours extinguishing the fire. Emlyn Volunteer Fire Department, Whitley County EMS and Whitley County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Dennis Foley also assisted at the scene.
Barbourville pawn shop owner arrested
A Barbourville pawn shop owner was arrested after he made a man pay to get his stolen tiller back, according to Kentucky State Police Post 10-Harlan Public Affairs Officer Trooper Shane Jacobs.
Randy Hale, 43, couldn’t provide any information about who pawned the stolen tiller when he was questioned by Trooper Jacob Wilson.
According to Kentucky state law, all pawn shops are required to keep record of any items they receive in pawn, sale or trade.
Hale was charged with receiving stolen property under $10,000, tampering with physical evidence, and failure for pawn broker to give ticket and receipt for article pawned. He was jailed in the Knox County Detention center.
Wilson continues his investigation.
Woman arrested for stealing items from cemetery
A woman was arrested Saturday in Laurel County for stealing grave decorations from a cemetery, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.
After several items such as plaques, wind chimes and statues were found in Rosemary H. McDaniel’s car, she told police she had removed them for cleaning and that she planned to return them to the graves.
Deputy Robbie Grimes and Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter began their investigation after a couple who live near a cemetery returned home to find several small statues had been taken from their porch and broken in the driveway. The couple noticed some items that had been on a grave had been taken from their residence, as well. The couple called relatives to see if anyone had been by to visit and were told an ex-girlfriend of one of their relatives had been looking for them. After the call, one of the victims began to drive to that relative’s house and, while passing a cemetery, noticed a red car belonging to the brother’s ex-girlfriend backed up to a grave.
McDaniel was later found at her home by deputies.
She was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property. She was jailed in the Laurel County Corrections Center.
Assisting at the scene was Lt. Rodney Van Zant and Deputy Greg Turner.
Meth labs found
A family returned home Thursday to find the remnants of a methamphetamine lab in their yard, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.
The homeowner’s brother, Kevin R. Smith, and Kevin’s aunt, Sandra Proffitt, were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and fourth-degree controlled substance endangerment to a child.
Smith and Proffitt were jailed in the Laurel County Corrections Center.
The next day, Proffitt’s sister went to feed and water Proffit’s pets. While there, the sister found the remains of another meth lab. As a result, Proffit now faces another count of manufacturing methamphetamine.
Detective Jason Back investigated. He was assisted by Sheriffs Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter and deputies Robbie Grimes and Steve Hoskins. The labs were disassembled by the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department Meth Lab Response Team of detectives Billy Madden and Jason Back as well as deputies James Sizemore and William Harris.
Alcohol-related arrests made
A man was arrested early Monday after he tried to enter a house where he wasn’t welcome, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.
About 4:15 a.m., Ronnie D. Ratliff, 40, was pounding on the home’s front door and demanding that he be let in.
Deputy Josh Scott saw Ratliff demanding entry. The homeowner told Scott that Ratliff had been asked to leave several times.
Ratliff had trouble standing and was unable to complete sentences, Root said.
Ratliff was arrested and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing. He was jailed in the Laurel County Corrections Center.
Ratliff’s arrest was among several alcohol-related arrests Scott made over the weekend.
William E. Wilder was also arrested and charged with alcohol intoxication in a public place along with a warrant for being a parole violator.
Scott located Wilder, 29, of Corbin, about 3 a.m. Sunday.
Root said Wilder was walking in the middle of Frantz Road and refused to move until Scott activated his emergency equipment. Wilder was unsteady on his feet, had slurred speech and was disoriented. He also smelled of alcohol.
A parole violation warrant was located on Wilder, so he was arrested and jailed in the Laurel County Corrections Center.
Arrests made at family court
Five people were arrested last Tuesday by Sheriff’s Bailiff Kyle Gray at the Laurel County District and Family Courts, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.
Christopher McCulley was charged with a bench warrant for failure to appear on theft and alcohol related charges.
Billie J. Williamson was charged with a bench warrant for probation revocation related to the fraudulent use of a credit card.
Carl M. Henderson was charged with a bench warrant for non-payment of child support.
Anita Messer was charged with a bench warrant for probation revocation related to the unlawful distribution of a meth precursor.
Wesley Caudill was charged with a bench warrant for non-payment of restitution.
All were jailed in the Laurel County Corrections Center.
Times-Tribune Staff Report
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