A number of new details from an Oct. 21 fatal house fire emerged during a court hearing Wednesday, including that the victim was assaulted prior to the fire and that there is a warrant for a second suspect in the blaze.
During a preliminary hearing for arson suspect Aaron Spencer, 23, of 17 Phillips Court, in district court Wednesday, Kentucky State Police Detective Jeremy Hamm said they have an active warrant for Brandon Guy, who was also in Kenneth Payton’s home prior to the fire. Guy is the son of Payton’s long-time girlfriend Pamela Cantor. Police said all four were in Payton’s home drinking on the night of the fire.
Payton was pronounced dead at the scene of the fire at 544 E. Broadway.
Cantor, who was arrested following the fire on an outstanding warrant, told detectives there was an argument which turned into a fight at the home.
“Well, (Cantor) indicated her son and his friend (Spencer) assaulted Mr. Payton to the point he was critically injured and unable to move,”¿Hamm testified during the hearing in Clark District Court. “She said that... she felt the argument started because of her.”
Cantor’s account of the assault was that Payton was struck several times until he fell to the floor, Hamm said. He was then kicked several times, he said.
Spencer told police that he was in the home but left when Cantor pulled a knife on Payton. He denied being in the home when the fire began. Cantor, though, told police that she saw Spencer pour gasoline and light the fire in the home.
An autopsy was performed last week, but the final report has not been completed, Hamm said.
Following the hearing, Spencer’s mother proclaimed her son’s innocence.
“My son was at my house at 2:30 that morning,” Karen Spencer said. “They’re railroading my son.”
The Clark County Fire Department responded to the fire at 4:26 a.m.
Detectives are also waiting on several pieces of evidence, including Spencer’s clothes and samples from the house, to be analyzed at the state police crime lab.
Spencer remains in the Clark County Detention Center on a $100,000 cash bond.
Contact Fred Petke at firstname.lastname@example.org.