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Arsonist could face prison time

Mar. 14—CATLETTSBURG — An Ashland man who admitted to setting fire to an Ashland home may face a prison sentence, just two years after a jury acquitted him of setting fire to a home that resulted in his mother's death in 2021.

Christopher Childers, 39, was charged with murder and arson after allegedly setting a fire to a home on Gallagher Drive that resulted in the death of his mother, Ruby Childers, in 2018, but a Boyd County jury found Childers not guilty in July 2021.

Thirteen months later, Childers stood accused again, this time of second-degree arson following another blaze on Gallagher Drive (in the same block as previous fire).

In November 2023, Childers pleaded guilty to second-degree arson and was sentenced to five years of supervised probation and was ordered to complete treatment and pay $10,000 in restitution.

As part of his plea, Childers could remain outside of a cell as long as he abided by his probation conditions, including not committing any more crimes.

In the latest developments, Childers appeared before Boyd Circuit Judge John Vincent on Thursday accused of public intoxication and possession of marijuana.

While the accusations are only misdemeanors and minor in nature compared to arson and murder, the new charges potentially violate Childers's earlier plea deal.

On Thursday, Childers appeared virtually from the Boyd County Jail for a review on court costs related to the previous case.

Childers's public defender, Whitney Davis, said the prosecution had offered Childers a 45-day jail stay for contempt of court, relating to unpaid fines, but his new charges also resulted in a scheduled revocation hearing.

Judge Vincent scheduled Childers to reappear for a revocation hearing next Thursday, which could result in the decision to revoke Childers's probation and send him to prison for five years.

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