Crime

Manslaughter charges in Winchester fire deaths go to grand jury

Deadly apartment fire investigated

Three people were killed and at least six were injured in an early morning fire that destroyed an apartment complex on Springmist Lane in Winchester.
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Three people were killed and at least six were injured in an early morning fire that destroyed an apartment complex on Springmist Lane in Winchester.

The man charged in the deaths of three people in a March 11 fire tried to extinguish the blaze that started in his apartment, a police detective testified Wednesday.

Jackie Hisle Jr., 55, charged with three counts of manslaughter, tried to put out the fire with a pillow and a blanket but was unable to keep it contained, Winchester Detective Sgt. Tom Beall said during a preliminary hearing. Hisle also was unsuccessful in getting his son, Donald, out of the burning apartment.

The fire started in Hisle’s apartment as he was drinking and smoking a cigarette near an oxygen machine that had labels warning that no smoking was to occur near it, Beall said.

Hisle also went to a neighboring apartment to warn residents about the fire, Beall said.

Other residents in the B&P Apartments complex had warned Hisle not to smoke near the machine because they knew him “to be a bad alcoholic,” Beall said.

Clark District Judge Charles W. Hardin found probable cause to send the case to a Clark County grand jury for possible indictment.

Jackie Hisle told police that his son had passed out near a sofa/pull-out bed in the living room. Donald Hisle’s body was found in a rear bedroom, Beall said.

Tina Reynolds, 29, and Dixie Everman, 71, also died. Reynolds and Donald Hisle died of smoke inhalation; Everman died of smoke inhalation and blunt-force trauma at a hospital after she jumped from a second-story window.

Public defender Cole Maier asked the judge to reduce Jackie Hisle’s bond from $1 million to $75,000. She said that Hisle has chronic lung disease and “a cancer diagnosis.”

But Clark County Attorney Brian Thomas opposed bond reduction, saying it would diminish the seriousness of the offenses.

Judge Hardin agreed, adding that Hisle posed a danger to the community if released.

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