Jury trial for two of the four Crofton volunteer fire fighters charged with arson got underway Monday in Christian Circuit Court.
Jeremy Marlar and Glen McGee are both charged with second-degree arson and official misconduct, with McGee also facing a charge of burglary, for their alleged roles in the burning of a vacant building in Crofton in August 2017.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Maggie Gigandet is the prosecutor in this case and gave her opening remarks after a jury was seated around noon. She detailed some video surveillance footage of the incident that she says shows Marlar, McGee, Dylan Hodge and Dakota Oglesby walking to and from the building that burns down.
She says Marlar had requested to the owner of the building about selling the building to the fire department, and when they refused, Gigandet says Marlar became obsessed with getting rid of it.
The defense declined to make statements at that point in the trial.
Hodge, who recently pled guilty to facilitation to second-degree arson in relation to the case, took the witness stand in the afternoon. He described that he and the other three had come up with a plan to burn the building because Marlar had “wanted it gone” to build a new fire station in its place.
He says after the fire had been lit Marlar, who was the fire chief at the time, told them to make their efforts to put it out “look real”.
The former volunteer fire fighters would eventually work to put the fire out, but allegedly only after it was beyond the point of saving. Hodge says their story if questioned was that a group of teenagers had started the blaze and fled.
He also detailed his role, which including removing plywood from a doorway and breaking glass to get inside the building so others could start the fire. He said that McGee had carried gasoline in water bottles in his pockets and that McGee and Oglesby had started the fire.
Trial is expected to conclude on Tuesday. Oglesby’s case has been severed from this trial, due to health complications with his attorney.