September 3, 2010

Tater Knob fire: Woman pleads guilty to arson
By Vanessa Overholser - Staff Writer
CNHI

September 3, 2010 ó The co-defendant in the Tater Knob Fire Tower arson has pled guilty.

Samantha J. Sanders, 21, of Owingsville, withdrew her not guilty plea and pled guilty to third-degree arson and third-degree criminal mischief on April 13. Sanders will be sentenced Oct. 7 at 9 a.m. in Bath Circuit Court. She must report twice a month for drug testing.

The other co-defendant Roger W. Davis of Mt. Sterling was charged with third-degree arson. A trial date is set for Nov. 17, continued from Sept. 8.

After an investigation by Mt. Sterling Police (MSP) and the U.S. Forest Service, Sanders and Davis were accused of starting a fire with the intent to destroy a structure known as the Tater Knob Fire Tower located in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Bath County. Sanders was accused of spray painting the tower with black paint as well as helping to start a fire at the tower on Dec. 3, 2008.

Sanders turned herself in to the MSP on Dec. 11, 2009 and was lodged in the Mt. Sterling Regional Jail without bond. Davis was released on Jan. 7, with the condition to stay in contact with his attorney, make all court appearances, commit no new offenses and not drive.

Davis was found visiting a friend and arrested. He was transported to the Mt. Sterling Regional Jail. Davis was also charged with failure to appear in court for unpaid fines in Montgomery County. Davis was released on a $5,000 surety bond.

Arson in the third-degree is punishable by 1-5 years in prison. Criminal mischief in the third-degree is a misdemeanor.