London man accused of arson, murder has trial date set


LAUREL COUNTY — A London man, who is facing charges of arson and murder after the death of his 23-month-old child in a mobile home fire on March 30, has had his case set for jury trial.

Vaughn Ashley Brock II, 27, of 477 Reams Lane, was set for a pretrial hearing in Laurel Circuit Court on Monday where an assistant Commonwealth attorney confirmed all lab results are ready. The jury trial was set to begin at 9 a.m. March 10.

Brock is charged with murder and first-degree arson in the incident that took place on March 30 in which he fled the scene after his residence caught fire.

Neighbors told police and firefighters that a small child was inside the trailer, which was confirmed when the child's body was discovered inside a washing machine in the torched residence. The child's mother was at work when the fire broke out, according to reports by investigators with the Kentucky State Police Post 11, who headed up the investigation.

Brock remained on the lam for several days after the incident but was taken into custody on April 3 at an apartment complex on Mill Creek Drive in Corbin. He was arrested and charged with second-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree arson, murder and public intoxication of controlled substances. However, a Laurel grand jury indicted Brock on charges of murder and first-degree arson in May.

Brock has remained incarcerated at the Laurel County Correctional Center since his arrest, held under $500,000 cash bond.

He reportedly told police the child was playing with a lighter and started the fire. Initial investigation, however, showed that the fire started in a different section of the mobile home than Brock initially described to police. During a preliminary hearing in Laurel District Court in April, KSP Detective Chris Saunders testified that Brock said he fell asleep on the couch in the residence and awoke to the home being on fire. Brock told police the toddler was not beside him on the couch and that the heat from the fire was "so bad he couldn't get into the kitchen," according to Saunders' testimony.

But Brock had blisters on his ring and middle finger at the time of his arrest but blamed that on having smoked a (marijuana) joint earlier on the night of the fire. Saunders also testified that Brock initially said he got the burns because he tried to cross a baby gate in the home.

Another discrepancy in Brock's statements to police also indicated that the fire started in the living room of the home near the left side of the couch by an end table. The electrical outlets in that area showed no signs of electrical malfunction in the area where Brock described.

The discovery of the child inside the washing machine of the burned residence also initiated more questions by police. Brock, according to police, denied any knowledge of the child being inside the machine and was not aware of the child ever climbing into the washing machine prior to the fire. Saunders testified that he asked if the child had been "acting up," to which Brock answered, "yes". It was then, Saunders said, that Brock asked to speak to an attorney.

Brock is scheduled for a final pretrial conference at 9 a.m. March 9.

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