Trial delayed for accused arsonist


By Jane Beathard - Contributing Writer



The trial of a local resident accused of setting his Sheffield Boulevard apartment ablaze in October 2014 was delayed until Aug. 30 to allow his new defense attorney time to prepare.

Jackie Edwards, 58, who gives addresses in both Columbus and London, is charged with one first-degree felony count of aggravated arson and one second-degree felony count of aggravated arson.

Madison County Common Pleas Judge Eamon Costello agreed to re-schedule Edwards’ trial so newly hired defense attorney Regina Griffith could review evidence in the case. Ohio Assistant Public Defender Bill Mooney was originally appointed to defend Edwards.

Around 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 28, 2014, a fire broke out in Edwards’ apartment in building F of the London Apartments.

Edwards was rescued by firefighters who removed him from the home via a second-story window. He was flown to Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and treated for smoke inhalation and a laceration received during the rescue.

Edwards was later accused of starting the fire by placing a bean bag chair on the stove. The fire also had a second origin in the living room near the sofa.

He claimed depression and mental health issues led him to set the fire. But, Edwards was judged competent to stand trial for arson earlier this year.

In other common pleas court action this week:

• Jarod Johnson, 22, 39 Graham Ave., London, was charged with possessing a half-pound of marijuana and attempting to sell the drug on March 15.

Costello appointed Mike Murray to represent Johnson at a Sept. 27 trial and released the man on a signature bond and house arrest. Johnson must also undergo regular drug testing.

• Scott A. Harrington, 47, 315 W. Main St., West Jefferson, was sentenced to six days in jail and three years of community control for unauthorized use of his mother’s car in December and possession of heroin in October.

Harrington pleaded guilty to the charges on June 30.

Assistant county prosecutor Nick Adkins recommended prison for Harrington, who has a lengthy history of criminal activity and drug abuse.

But Costello agreed to give the man another chance at drug treatment through Madison County Mental Health. Previous treatment efforts at other facilities failed.

Harrington asked for one more opportunity to reform.

“I know I’ve screwed up. It’s time to take responsibility for my family,” Harrington said.

In addition to the jail time, Harrington’s driver’s license was suspended for six months.

• Amy Sias, 24, 18 Antietam Ave., London, also got another chance to shake a heroin addiction.

Sias admitted violating her two-year community control for a 2015 forgery conviction. She tested positive for drugs on July 7 and had needles and other paraphernalia on June 29.

But she told Costello that she understood “what she had to do” to remain drug free.

Costello extended Sias’ community control to February 2018. However, she must report for drug testing daily.

• Stephanie Knight, 29, 1023 Amity Rd., Galloway, was jailed for violating her community control for an April 2014 burglary conviction. Knight admitted the violations and was ordered to undergo lock-down treatment at the West Central Community Corrections Facility in Marysville.

She will remain in jail until room is available at the WCCCF.

• Joy Carlos, 23, 90 Antietam Ave., London, was charged with violating her three-year community control for a 2014 aggravated riot conviction.

Carlos admitted on July 6 to using heroin for the previous six weeks.

Costello appointed Dale Frenz to represent Carlos at an Aug. 12 hearing and released the woman on a signature bond.

• Kari Holder-Cooks, 42, was granted early release from prison and placed on five years of community control for a smuggling marijuana to her husband, a Madison Correctional Institution inmate, in 2014.

Holder-Cooks had served four months of a nine-month sentence for the conviction.

Costello noted she has no other criminal history and “fits the stereotype” of women who are conned into smuggling contraband to inmate boyfriends and husbands.

“You paid a heavy price for someone who had no criminal convictions,” Costello said.

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By Jane Beathard

Contributing Writer

Jane Beathard is a contributing wroter for The Madison Press

Jane Beathard is a contributing wroter for The Madison Press

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