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Accused grocer arsonist still awaiting evaluation

Feb. 9—CATLETTSBURG — An arson suspect's case is in limbo as the court awaits his turn on the wait list for a psychiatric evaluation from Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center (KCPC).

Michael D. Fields, 37, was arrested in July 2023 for allegedly setting fire inside Kroger on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard filled with approximately 200 people.

Fields was indicted on charges of first-degree arson, 10 counts of first-degree wanton endangerment and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In October, Fields's public defender, Whitney Davis, said she filed a motion for a competency evaluation.

Nearly four months later, Davis said Fields was still awaiting that evaluation from KCPC on Thursday in Boyd County Circuit Court, where Fields appeared via video feed from the Boyd County Detention Center.

Boyd Circuit Judge John Vincent said Fields's file indicated KCPC had issued documents showing they received the request, but no report has been entered.

Davis requested Fields reappear in roughly 30 days to discuss any updates from KCPC, and, if not, the attorney would "pursue other options."

Vincent re-docketed Fields for March 14.

(606) 326-2652 — mjepling@dailyindependent.com