The Richmond Register

Local News

February 10, 2013

Former student sentenced in EKU dorm fire incident

Attorney questions restitution amount

RICHMOND — A former Eastern Kentucky University student who pleaded guilty to amended charges in a 2011 dormitory fire incident was sentenced Thursday, but the amount of restitution he owes the school is still at question.

Samuel McFarland, 20, Williamsburg, pleaded guilty in December to first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree wanton endangerment and second-degree possession of a controlled substance (amphetamine).

McFarland originally was accused of setting fire to two hallway bulletin boards in the dorm, and he was charged with first-degree arson, which carries a sentence of 20 to 50 years or life in prison.

At the earlier hearing in which he pleaded guilty to the amended charges, McFarland said sprinklers were going off in his Commonwealth Hall room on Oct. 14, 2011, and he hit them with a broom in an attempt to disable them. He also said he used scissors to cut the wires in the sprinklers.

Judge Jean C. Logue sentenced McFarland to the recommended three years on each charge, plus a concurrent sentence of 12 months on the drug-possession charge. The entire sentence was diverted for five years if McFarland follows terms of the plea deal.

Those include paying a “reasonable” restitution to EKU for damage to the dorm, undergoing alcohol and drug testing, getting both drug and alcohol and mental health evaluations, complying with treatment recommendations and having no further violations of law.

If McFarland fails to follow terms of the agreement, he will have to serve his sentence in prison.

The plea deal was reached during a felony mediation process in which EKU officials had input in determining the appropriate punishment.

At an earlier hearing, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith said the university’s estimates for damage to the dorm, which was mostly caused by water from the sprinklers, was $40,000.

McFarland’s attorney asked for more information about how EKU came up with that amount. He added that $40,000 may be 100 percent accurate, but he just wanted confirmation.

A restitution hearing, at which an university official will be called to testify, was set for 9 a.m. March 22.

Text Only
Local News
  • 4-20 Shoulders-B.jpg Eggs fly at park

    Easter has probably never been so “eggstravagant” in Richmond as it was Saturday during the annual Eggstravaganza in Irvine-McDowell Park.
    For the first time, thousands of eggs were dropped, appropriately by an “eggbeater”-type helicopter, in addition to thousands of eggs already scattered on the grass below. Together, they numbered about 10,000, according to Erin Moore, Richmond Parks and Recreation director.

    April 20, 2014 12 Photos

  • City awaits funds for Water Street project

    Richmond city officials are still awaiting word on grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Water Street drainage project.
    However, Mayor Jim Barnes said he is confident the money should come through by May 1.

    April 20, 2014

  • Kitcarson1.jpg Elementary schools built in ‘60s getting upgrades

    Renovation of three Madison County elementary schools built in Richmond during the 1960s will start this summer.
    The county school board voted Thursday to continue with the second phase of state paperwork required for the projects.
    With a target completion date of August 2015, renovations and alterations at Daniel Boone, Kit Carson and White Hall elementary schools are estimated to cost almost $12 million.

    April 20, 2014 9 Photos

  • KY 52 link to I-75 to be discussed May 13

    While a proposed link from Nicholasville to Exit 95 on Interstate 75 north of Richmond has garnered attention and organized opposition, the state also is developing plans to link I-75 to another community to the west.

    April 20, 2014

  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results