The Richmond Register

October 16, 2011

Arrest made in EKU arson case


Register staff report

RICHMOND — An Eastern Kentucky University student was arrested Friday night and charged with setting two fires at the university on Thursday.

Samuel Stephen McFarland, 19, is charged with first-degree arson, a Class A felony, and first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree criminal mischief, both Class D felonies.

McFarland was a resident of Commonweatlh Hall, where the fires were ignited, said Marc Whitt, EKU spokesperson.

The arson occurred at 4:13 a.m. Thursday, Whitt said.

Hallway bulletin boards were set on fire on two floors, causing minor damage to the walls.

The sprinkler system activated and the building was evacuated. No injuries were reported, Whitt said.

“Investigators from the Richmond Fire Department along with EKU police and the Kentucky State Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire to have been intentionally set,” said Corey Lewis, spokesperson for the Richmond Fire Department.

Commonwealth Hall was closed for several hours for cleanup.

McFarland is being held in the Madison County Detention Center in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond. According to the jail’s website, he also is charged with second-degree possession of a controlled substance and first-degree promoting contraband.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call EKU police at 622-1111.