Last updated: July 18. 2013 11:14PM - 435 Views
Cris Ritchie

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HAZARD — A Perry County man was indicted last week and charged with multiple counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly setting a forest fire in October.

Crews with the Kentucky Division of Forestry were on the scene of a separate fire in Scuddy on Oct. 25 when they reported observing a man, who was later identified by authorities as 32-year-old Carew “Shorty” Blankenship of Scuddy, setting a new fire. Blankenship was later arrested by Trooper Isaac Whitaker with the Kentucky State Police.

Blankenship’s case was brought before the Perry County Grand Jury on Friday, Dec. 7, at which time an indictment was returned charging him with 25 counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

According to the indictment, the fire created “a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury for 25 Scuddy Branch residents, fire fighters and employees of the Forestry Service.”

Bail for Blankenship was set at $50,000, plus home incarceration.

Also indicted this month were three people charged with breaking into a local business.

Samuel Easterling, 41, of Chavies, Samuel Hensley, 43, of Combs, and Katrina Renzello, 44, of Hazard, are each facing charges of third-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into Turner Brothers Car Care on Combs Road on Nov. 14.

Easterling and Hensley are additionally facing charges of first-degree persistent felony offender, and their bails were set at $40,000 each. Bail for Renzello was set at $20,000.

Stacey Campbell, 41, of Hazard, was indicted this month on one count of first-degree criminal mischief, and is accused of intentionally damaging a Ford pickup on April 1, causing damages in the amount of $1,000 or more. Her bail was set at $20,000.

Harold Lawson, Jr., 30, of Brownsfork, was indicted on charges of first-degree criminal mischief and second-degree persistent felony offender. He was alleged to have intentionally damaged property belonging to Windstream Communications on June 9, 2011, causing damages of $1,000 or more. His bail was set at $30,000.

Richard D. Wilson, 24, of Gays Creek, is facing one count of receiving stolen property over $500. He is charged with taking possession of an all-terrain vehicle he knew to be stolen on Nov. 12. Bail was set at $20,000.

Paul J. Moore, 32, of Hazard, was indicted on one count each of theft over $500, second-degree fleeing or evading police, alcohol intoxication, and second-degree persistent felony offender. He was alleged to have stolen more than $500 from the Hazard Walmart on Sept. 27. He was also alleged to have fled from a police officer and appeared in a public place while intoxicated. His bail was set at $30,000.

Each of the defendants indicted this week are slated to appear in Perry Circuit Court for arraignment on Jan 10.

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