A grand jury will review the case of a Nicholasville man charged in connection with a series of six burglaries that ended in house fires.
John C. Roth, 38, appeared briefly Monday before Jessamine District Court Judge Bill Oliver, and the case was waived to the grand jury. Roth is charged with selling property stolen from a Madison County house that was burglarized and set afire on May 9, but Jessamine County Attorney Brian Goettl said other charges will be filed against Roth.
The stolen items, identified by the homeowner, were captured on video surveillance at a Nicholasville pawn shop about an hour after the Madison County fire.
That fire was the sixth in Central Kentucky that occurred between April 29 and May 9 in burglarized rural homes during work hours when the occupants weren't home.
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A 17-year-old has been charged with burglary and arson, but juvenile court proceedings are not open to the public.
Lisa and Don Swanson, whose Briar Hill Road house in Fayette County was among the houses burned, watched the courtroom proceedings.
"We want to make sure if any help is needed, that we can be of assistance," Lisa Swanson said outside the courtroom. "We want to make sure justice is served."
The Swansons, who are staying with friends, said they were surprised to hear that Roth had a previous arson conviction. They hope legislators will consider increasing the penalties for arson in the wake of this case.
Roth served three years of a five-year sentence for a 2014 arson conviction in Jefferson County. He was released on parole in December.
Lisa Swanson works as a trainer and instructor for Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, a nonprofit organization that offers therapeutic activities with horses for the victims of rape, war veterans and others who have been traumatized.
Swanson said she doesn't know who the other fire victims are, but she hopes they would seek help from Riding for Hope to heal the loss they feel.
Roth also is charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).
He remains in the Jessamine County jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.
Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @ HLpublicsafety