Rayburn pleads guilty to 2017 arson

Published 10:12 am Friday, January 11, 2019

A man charged with setting his apartment building on fire as a theft deterrent pleaded guilty to an arson charge Wednesday.

Frank F. Rayburn, 57, of 41 Buckner St., was arrested for first-degree arson shortly after the fire was reported around 2 a.m. Jan. 13, 2017.

Thursday, Rayburn pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree arson and one county of first-degree wanton endangerment, because there were other people in the building when he started the fire. Prosecutors recommended sentences of 10 years and one year, respectively.

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“I got tired of people breaking into my place and stealing my stuff,” Rayburn told Clark Circuit Judge Brandy Oliver Brown Thursday. “I came home drunk one night. Someone had broken into my place. I got mad and destroyed the rest of my stuff. I just piled stuff up and set it on fire.”

Rayburn said he tried to warn one of his neighbors as the fire spread, but he said no one answered the door.

Rayburn was standing outside the building when city police officers and firefighters arrived. Other residents told police they heard Rayburn say he was going to set fire to the building, according to court documents.

No one was injured in the fire, but the four-apartment building was heavily damaged. There was major fire damage at the rear of the building to both floors as well as the roof.

Rayburn is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 21.

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 fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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