Out on parole for arson for barely six months, the man charged in connection with a string of burglarized Central Kentucky homes that were set on fire pleaded not guilty Wednesday.
John C. Roth, 38, served three years of a five-year prison sentence for a 2014 arson conviction in Jefferson County; he was released on parole in December 2015, according to the state corrections website. His probation was set to end in November.
The Nicholasville man was arraigned Wednesday in Jessamine District Court on a receiving stolen property charge. A 17-year-old has been charged with burglary and arson, but juvenile court proceedings are not open to the public.
Roth is accused of selling property that was stolen Monday during a burglary and arson in Madison County, according to court records. The items — identified by the homeowner — and Roth were captured on video surveillance at a Nicholasville pawn shop, Sam’s, about an hour after the 10 a.m. Jacks Creek Road fire in Richmond.
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That fire was the sixth in Central Kentucky that occurred in burglarized rural homes during work hours when occupants weren’t home. In addition to Madison, houses were hit in Jessamine, Fayette, Garrard and Scott counties since April 29. The Scott County fire on May 3 leveled the home and destroyed a Ferrari.
Roth is due back in court Monday afternoon. A cash bond of $1 million was set, according to the Jessamine County Detention Center.