State police say they are now working a homicide case after an autopsy determined that a Winchester man wasn’t killed by the fire that destroyed his home.
Kenneth Payton Jr., 50, was found inside his burning home early Sunday morning at 544 E. Broadway. State police aren’t releasing the cause of death at this point but said foul play was definitely involved.
“His death was not a result of the fire,” Kentucky State Police Trooper Paul Blanton said. “We expect there will be additional charges for the homicide.”
So far, only first-degree arson charges have been filed against 23-year-old Aaron William Spencer, who lived in the home with Payton, Payton’s girlfriend Pamela Cantor and Cantor’s son, Blanton said. Those living in the home as well as neighbors and others have been interviewed, Blanton said.
A motive has not been established, though some neighbors reported hearing noise at the home, Blanton said.
According to court documents, witnesses told police that they saw Spencer pouring gasoline throughout the house prior to the fire. The Clark County Fire Department was called to the scene around 4:26 a.m. Sunday.
The state police and an arson investigator reached the scene about an hour later.
Most of the damage appeared to be at the rear of the home.
A judge entered an automatic not guilty plea during Spencer’s arraignment Monday in Clark District Court.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 31. He is being held on a $100,000 cash bond.
Cantor also was arrested Sunday on an unrelated and outstanding warrant.
Contact Fred Petke at email@example.com.