Vicco man could face 50 years in arson case
by Amelia Holliday
HAZARD — A Perry County man has been indicted this month after allegedly setting fire to a house and vehicle in April.
Vicco City Police Chief Tony Vaughn said a vehicle fire was called in at 44 Green Bridge Bottom just before 4 p.m. on April 30. After the fire was extinguished, witnesses reported smoke coming from the mobile home at the address where the truck had been parked.
“We actually had to break into the trailer to see if anybody was in it,” Vaughn said. “The girl that we were talking to said there was smoke coming from the trailer, so I knocked in the front door and there was a mattress on fire in the living room.”
Vaughn said based on information witnesses had reported of seeing 58-year-old Johnny Williams at the scene just before the fires were set, and his past record with arson, police were able to issue an arrest warrant for Williams, who has maintained his innocence.
In June 2012, Williams was arrested after pouring gasoline over his head and attempting to light himself on fire with a lit cigarette as three Perry County deputies stood nearby, although he was unsuccessful in lighting himself on fire. Williams was later indicted on three counts first-degree wanton endangerment, but was only found guilty of an amended charge of second-degree wanton endangerment.
According to the indictment for the April arson incident, Williams is facing one count of first-degree arson, a Class A felony, which could carry up to 50 years in prison, and two counts first-degree wanton endangerment and one count first degree criminal mischief, both Class D felonies.
Williams is being lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail on a $100,000 cash bond. His arraignment is set for July 5.
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