Competency hearing set for arson suspect

Published 12:24 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A judge will decide Thursday whether a man facing arson charges is competent to stand trial or not.

Billy Joe Ross, 60, of 40 N. Main St., has been incarcerated since the fire broke out on June 1, 2017.

Thursday, Clark Circuit Judge Jean Chenault Logue scheduled a competency hearing for Ross on Aug. 23 in Winchester.

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Winchester Police said Ross was standing outside the building when firefighters and police officers arrived around 9:40 p.m. June 1. By that time, the fire had already spread through the second floor, trapping some residents on the third floor. Three people were rescued by firefighters from a third-floor window.

Police said Ross, who was staying in one of the apartments with someone else, admitted to setting the fire so people would stop stealing from him.

Ross was arrested and subsequently indicted for first-degree arson for the fire.

Four people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, according to fire officials.

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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