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A 16-year-old is in custody today and faces charges of murder, aggravated arson and two counts of attempted murder stemming from a 2009 Kenton fire.
Hardin County Prosecutor Brad Bailey said the charges against the teenager come from the arson fire from Dec. 8, 2009 at 421 W. Walnut Street in Kenton, where Gary Wells was found dead inside his burning house.
Firefighters at the time reported flames and huge columns of smoke rolled from the Wells home when they arrived. Friends and family members pleaded frantically with EMTs and firefighters to rescue a person inside.
Wells wife, Sarah, escaped from the burning home through a second story window, she told the Times in 2009. Her son, Derek Fortner, also escaped the flames.
The unidentified juvenile was arrested in Kentucky and brought back to Hardin County, where he was set to appear before Juvenile Court Judge James Rapp today.
The prosecutor’s office has filed a discretionary bindover motion, requesting the youth be tried as an adult for the charges.
“We feel this (case) merits that based on the facts that have come forth,” said Bailey.
At the time of the fire, Wells was 35 years old and the accused would have been about 13.
The investigation, which has taken nearly three years to complete, was conducted with involvement from the Hardin County Prosecutor’s Office, the Kenton Police Department, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and the Kenton Police Department.
By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer