HAZARD—Two men accused of murdering and then setting fire to the home of two Scuddy women in 2013 have been indicted this month by the Perry County Grand Jury.
Matthew Minks, 32, of Happy, and 30-year-old Ronnie Everage, of Hazard, were indicted last Friday on charges related to the deaths of 64-year-old Sandra K. Melton and her daughter Suzy Melton, 35, both of Scuddy, and the subsequent fire that was set in their home.
The Herald reported previously that in January 2013, the bodies of Melton and her daughter were discovered in the debris of a house fire at their residence. Initially, investigations pointed to the fire being caused by a skillet on the stove, however, both deaths were later ruled homicides.
“At first there was no indication of suspicious circumstances, and then after an autopsy was completed, the medical examiner’s office preliminary findings indicate that both causes of death are not consistent with someone who dies from a house fire only,” former Kentucky State Police (KSP) Trooper and Public Affairs Officer Tony Watts told the Herald in 2013.
The Herald obtained the final reports for both Sandra and Suzy Melton earlier this year via an open records request. The reports indicate that both Melton and her daughter suffered gunshot wounds, as well as multiple broken bones and visceral injuries.
Everage was arrested in May of this year in connection with the robbery of the Apple Market store on Morton Boulevard in Hazard.
After being apprehended, Everage allegedly confessed that he and Minks had murdered Melton and her daughter, and had set the house on fire in order to cover up the evidence, according to the arrest citation.
Everage was initially charged with two counts of complicity to murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree arson, and abuse of a corpse.
According to the indictment, Everage is now facing two counts of capital murder, one count of first-degree robbery, one count of first-degree burglary, one count first-degree arson, two counts of abuse of a corpse, one count tampering with physical evidence, one count of theft by unlawful taking (auto), and one count of cultivating in marijuana (five or more plants). He is being held on a $1 million cash bond.
Minks was indicted on two counts of murder, a Class A felony, one count of first-degree burglary, one count of first-degree complicity to arson, two counts of abuse of a corpse, and one count of tampering with physical evidence. He is also being held on a $1 million bond.
Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.