News Release

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TFC Corey King
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Kentucky State Police
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(270) 826-3312
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Arson Arrest in Ohio County

Date of News Release: 10/20/2011

(Henderson, Ky.) -- On Wednesday, August 19, 2011, Kentucky State Police Detective Michael A. Smith charged 37 year old Tina Abbeduto of Beaver Dam; 26 year old Joseph Blake Darnell of Dawson Springs and 31 year old Ricki Lacey of Lawrenceburg, IN with various charges including Arson 2nd Degree in Ohio County, KY.

The investigation was initiated on March 24, 2011, when several structures and residences caught fires over a two day period. One of the structures included the Horse Branch Elementary School in Horse Branch, KY.

On, Thursday, October 13, 2011, the investigation was presented to the Ohio County Grand Jury which issued the indictment warrants. Abbeduto and Darnell were charged; however, Lacey is being held in Indiana awaiting extradition to Kentucky.

Tina Abbeduto was charged with

  • (3) Three counts Arson 2nd Degree. (Class B Felony.)
  • (2) Two counts Burglary 1st Degree. (Class B Felony.)
  • (1) One count Theft by Unlawful Taking. (Misdemeanor.)

Joseph Blake Darnell was charged with:

  • (5) Five counts Arson 2nd Degree. (Class B Felony.)
  • (4) Four counts Burglary 1st degree. (Class B Felony.)
  • (1) One count Theft by Unlawful Taking. (Misdemeanor.)
  • (1) One count Persistent Felony Offender.

Ricki Lacey was charged with:

  • (5) Five counts Arson 2nd Degree. (Class B Felony.)
  • (4) Four counts Burglary 1st degree. (Class B Felony.)
  • (1) One count Theft by Unlawful Taking. (Misdemeanor.)
  • (1) One count Persistent Felony Offender.

Original News Release Below:


Structure fires in Ohio County

Date of News Release: 03/24/2011

(Henderson, Ky.) -- On Thursday, March 24, 2011, the Kentucky State Police in Henderson was notified of a structure fire behind the Horse Branch Elementary School just after 3:00 this morning. The first arriving trooper discovered two separate buildings behind the school on fire. As various fire departments were responding, one of the fire personnel also noticed a vacant home nearby on fire. All structures were within one mile of each other.

The state police are currently investigating the structure fires.

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