Jessamine County

He got 30 years for Central Kentucky burglary-arsons. More cases are pending.

John C. Roth
John C. Roth Jessamine County Detention Center

A man was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison for burglaries and arsons in Jessamine County, and he faces more charges in other counties where similar fires occurred.

John C. Roth, 40, of Nicholasville pleaded guilty earlier this month to two counts of second-degree arson, two counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of theft, receiving stolen property over $500, possession of a controlled substance and being a persistent felony offender. He pleaded guilty to all the counts as charged in the indictment, said public defender Matt Myers.

"We looked at the charges, the proof and ... weighed that against his options at trial and decided this was the best decision for him," Myers said.

Roth started fires on April 29 and May 2, 2016, in Jessamine County in an attempt to destroy buildings.

He was accused of taking guitars and jewelry from one home and televisions valued at more than $500 from another home.

"I don't see many cases this serious," Jessamine Circuit Judge Hunter Daugherty told Roth at sentencing.

At the time of his 2016 arrest, Roth was out on parole after serving three years of a five-year sentence for a 2014 arson conviction in Jefferson County.

As part of a plea agreement, the 30-year sentence imposed Friday on the Jessamine charges will run concurrently with other arson and burglary charges in Garrard, Scott and Madison counties, said Commonwealth's Attorney Andy Sims.

"He's not eligible for parole until he serves at least 10 years," Sims said. "It's a significant amount of time. We've had murder cases that plead to less than 30 years."

The series of fires began April 29, 2016, in Garrard County, and the second was that same afternoon in Jessamine. Fires and burglaries followed at homes in Fayette, Scott and Madison counties. The Scott County fire leveled a house, destroyed a Ferrari, and killed a dog.

Roth has not been indicted in Fayette County.

Caulin Miller, 19, was indicted in connection with the Madison County burglary and arson. He was 17 at the time but was later indicted as an adult. Court records indicate that Miller is scheduled for a jury trial in September.

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