Jonathan Jackson of Winchester and Steve Putnam of Paris were both charged with third-degree arson, first-degree wanton endangerment, and first-degree criminal mischief on the evening of Nov. 24.
An officer with the Richmond Police Department was dispatched to assist the Richmond Fire Department with a structure fire of a residence which had previously burned. The fire department advised dispatch the fire looked to be an illegal burn which got out of control.
According arrest citations, one of the fireman told the officer on the scene the two men who started the fire were still on the scene. The men in question were Jackson and Putnam.
The officer made contact with the pair. According to citations, Jackson and Putnam said they worked for the property owner and were tasked with tearing down the previously burnt facility. They claimed to have left the job site to go to a nearby gas station to get gas and drinks when they found the structure on fire. The two men said that no one else was working and they believed that a disgruntled employee had set the fire.
After speaking with Jackson and Putnam, the officer then conversed with the initial 911 caller. The witness said she saw the building on fire and observed Jackson climb on top of the structure. According to the citation, he cut pieces off the top building and threw them into the fire burning at its rear. Putnam stood at the bottom of the building.
The witness said neither man was moving with urgency as they continued to throw items into the fire.
Another witness reported the same thing, having recorded the scene nearby until the heat became unbearable.
Other officers spoke to the property owner who said she spoke with Jackson and Putnam earlier in the day. According to the citation, the men asked if they could burn the basement of the structure as it was surrounded by concrete. The owner said she told them no and advised them to contact the fire department to see if they could make the burns.
The owner's husband later stopped by the site, where Jackson and Putnam again asked if they could burn the structure before being told no a second time.
Jackson and Putnam were taken to the Richmond Police Department. Jackson waived his rights, and allegedly told officers he didn't know who set the fire. He claimed they found a fire going in the basement after returning from lunch. Putnam said they noticed smoke coming out of the basement before going to lunch and that it seemed to "burn good," and they fed the fire as it seemed controlled at the time.
A citation states Putnam told police the wind picked up and the fire got out of control and that he and Jackson attempted to put it out.
An arson investigator with the Richmond Fire Department confirmed the fire was set intentionally. The residence next door had suffered over $1,000 dollars in damage. According to the citation, the fire put human life at risk.
Jackson and Putnam were placed under arrest and transported to the Madison County Detention Center.
Other arrests include:
• Lindsay N. Lyttle, Richmond, was arrested on Nov. 24 and charged with first-degree trafficking in cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and contempt of court libel/slander resistance to order.
• Colby G. Yaney, Richmond, was arrested on Nov. 24 and charged with first-degree strangulation and fourth-degree assault.
• Clayton Davidson, Richmond, was arrested on Nov. 25 and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident without rendering aid or assistance, first-degree criminal mischief, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of third-degree controlled substances, improper containment of prescription controlled substances, and possession of an open alcohol beverage in a motor vehicle.
• James West, Lexington, was arrested on Nov. 25 and charged with the possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, theft by unlawful taking of a firearm, theft by unlawful taking of the contents of a vehicle, and attempted theft by unlawful taking of the contents of a vehicle.
• Joseph Daniel Murphy, Richmond, was arrested on Nov. 27 and charged with fourth-degree assault and possession of marijuana.
• Tommy J. Savage, Lancaster, was arrested on Nov. 28 and charged with fourth-degree assault.
• Marvin Smith, Richmond, was arrested on Nov. 28 and charged with fourth-degree assault and first-degree wanton endangerment.
The Register collects and publishes police reports as a public service to its readers. The reports often contain allegations against individuals and do not mean the individuals committed a crime. All people named in connection with a crime are presumed innocent until guilty in a court of law.