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Man admits to setting apartment on fire

SALYERSVILLE – A Magoffin County man is behind bars for allegedly starting a fire in his apartment on Allen Drive late Saturday night.

Late Saturday, November 18, Salyersville Police Department Officer Mike Nickels was called to Allen Drive in Salyersville in regards to a structure fire. When he arrived, a man was setting on the neighbor’s steps and was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and pills, according to the police report.

The man, identified as James David Fletcher, 31, of Salyersville, admitted to police he set his apartment, unit B6 on Allen Drive, on fire, and that he had been drinking vodka and taking Valium and Klonopin. 

He was taken to Paul B. Hall Medical Center to be medically cleared, then sent to the Big Sandy Regional Center, where he remains at press time on Tuesday.

In the citation, Fletcher is charged with public intoxication of a controlled substance, a Class B misdemeanor; third-degree arson, a Class D felony; second-degree disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor; and menacing, a Class B misdemeanor. 

He appeared in court on Monday, November 20, pleading not guilty to the charges. 

In a separate court case, Officer Nickels brought six more felony charges against Fletcher in a warrant, issued on November 20, noting that there were five victims that lived in the surrounding apartment units that received damage due to fire, resulting in five charges of first-degree wanton endangerment (Class D felonies). 

According to the warrant of arrest, Fletcher reportedly told Nickels he had traded two Percocet pills for two Klonopin and one Valium, telling police that he had made the trade on Allen Drive behind the Town and Country Flowers. The admission resulted in a charge of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, first offense, less than 10 dosage units (opiates), which is also a Class D felony. 

An arson investigator has been called in from Kentucky State Police, according to the arrest citation.

Fletcher’s bond has been set at $10,000 cash and a preliminary hearing is slated for November 27 at 9 a.m. at the Magoffin County Justice Center.

Editor's Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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