Murder-for-hire, arson suspects among indictments

Published 9:14 am Friday, March 10, 2017

A Winchester man accused of trying to hire someone to kill a perceived rival for his girlfriend was indicted Thursday by the Clark County grand jury.

Jesse D. Long, 38, of 114 Village Court, Apt. 7, was arrested last week after he allegedly offered an undercover detective $500 and a weapon to kill another person.

Winchester Police said a third party contacted the department last week after Long reportedly approached them and asked if they knew anyone who could kill a person. Through the third party, police set up a meeting with Long with an undercover detective. Long allegedly offered the detective $500 and a gun to kill a man he thought was seeing his girlfriend.

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Police said they notified the intended target and Long’s girlfriend, and neither was harmed.

Long was arrested March 3 and charged with solicitation for murder.

During his arraignment Monday in Clark District Court, the judge entered an automatic not guilty plea. He was scheduled for a preliminary hearing March 15 in district court as well.

The grand jury also indicted a man who allegedly set his apartment building on fire to keep other people from stealing his property.

Frank F. Rayburn, 55, of 41 Buckner St., was indicted for first-degree arson and first-degree wanton endangerment for the Jan. 13 fire in the four-apartment building.

According to court documents, Rayburn admitted to officers on the scene that he set the fire because other people kept stealing from him.

One neighbor quoted Rayburn saying, “I’m burning them out. I’m tired of them robbing me.”

No one was injured in the fire.

Firefighters were called to the corner of Buckner and Flanagan streets around 2 a.m. and found heavy fire at the rear of the building. At one point, firefighters battling the blaze had to evacuate the building as the fire spread.

The Clark County grand jury also returned the following indictments Thursday:

— Greg Larison, first-degree bail jumping, first-degree persistent felony offender.

— John D. Combs, first-degree bail jumping.

— Ernest L. Christopher, flagrant non-support.

— Daniel R. Townsend, flagrant non-support, second-degree persistent felony offender.

— Natasha Stewart, flagrant non-support.

— Amy Clark, receiving stolen property, first-degree promoting contraband.

— Steven Rogers, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second-degree fleeing or evading police, reckless driving, first-degree persistent felony offender.

— Christopher W. Fitrakis, failure to comply with sex offender registration, first-degree persistent felony offender.

— Steven L. Chenault, violation of an EPO/DVO, first-degree fleeing or evading police, first-degree persistent felony offender.

— Rickey Adam Whipple, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.

— James S. Ball, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (two counts).

— Brian Sparks, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, theft of identity, tampering with physical evidence, first-degree persistent offender.

— Jason Branham and Kristin Gladson, second-degree burglary, fraudulent use of an identity card (Branham), third-degree possession of a controlled substance (Branham), first-degree persistent felony offender (Branham), second-degree persistent felony offender (Gladson).

— Daniel R. Watson, theft by unlawful taking over $500, theft by unlawful taking under $500, first-degree persistent felony offender.

— Jason Branham, second-degree escape, third-degree assault, second-degree criminal mischief, first-degree persistent felony offender.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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