LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Kenneth Wooton gingerly covered his right hand with a cloth, grimacing with pain as he stood outside a mobile home on Hardin Road on Monday afternoon.
Volunteer firefighters from the Laurel County Fire Department moved carefully inside the residence where 44-year-old Wooton and 25-year-old Jinna Moore had exited after a fire began inside the kitchen area, while Laurel County Sheriff’s officials began an investigation after firefighters discovered drug paraphernalia inside the home.
When all was said and done, Wooton, Moore and 35-year-old Melody Gilbert were all taken into custody — with Wooton wearing a bandage over his burned hand — after 7.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine, two sets of digital scales, numerous plastic baggies, two glass pipes, and numerous new and used needles were found inside the residence.
All three — Wooton of Harmon Road, Moore of East 80 Church Road, and Gilbert of Mt. Trail Court, all in London — are now charged with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, methamphetamine, first offense, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
After firefighters noticed numerous items involved in drug activity inside the residence, they contacted the sheriff’s office. Deputies Larry Parrott and Daniel Grigsby, along with Senior Sgt. Greg Poynter, arrived at the scene to investigate, along with Abby Hale with the Laurel County Emergency Management Division.
Parrott and Poynter combed the fence line below the mobile home for possible evidence pertaining to the house fire after witnesses said they saw a man run from the residence toward the fence.
Laurel County Volunteer Fire Department Chief Rodney Gay said Gilbert said she was not home at the time the fire broke out; Moore and Wooton said they were fixing chicken nuggets on the stove. Gay, however, said the fire occurred near the kitchen stove but he could not determine the actual cause of the fire at that time.
Sheriff’s deputies then contacted Detective Jason Back, who arrived at the scene and placed Wooton, Moore and Gilbert under arrest. All three were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center. Each is held under a $5,000 cash bond and set for a hearing in Laurel District Court today (Wednesday).