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Man Guilty in Latonia Arson, Shooting

A Kenton County Jury convicted a man accused of setting a Latonia home on fire and shooting a gun and assaulting someone in the process.

Ronald Lee King, 51, was found guilty on Thursday afternoon of third degree arson, second degree assault, and first degree wanton endangerment. He was booked at the Kenton County Detention Center on May 29, 2014, ten days after setting fire to a home in the Rosedale Mobile Home Park on May 19. A 32-year old man was shot and a child was held captive when King barricaded himself inside as police showed up.

King attempted to flee when police arrived and suffered injuries in the fire forcing him to be hospitalized before his booking at the jail.

The jury recommended the maximum of 20 years in prison, Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders said.

The case led to two heroic acts by the Covington Police Department. Just days after their home burned, two children who lived at the home were given toys and clothes from members of the department, and in January 2015, Sergeant Justin Wietholter and Specialist Michael Lusardi were named Northern Kentucky Police Officers of the Year for barging into the burning trailer to save the girl.

"But for these two brave officers, those charges would have included murder," Sanders said at the time. "Though I doubt the defendant will ever see it this way, he should thank these officers because, but for them, he would probably be facing the death penalty."

-Staff report

Top photo: Remains of trailer burned in Rosedale (RCN file)

Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Ronald Lee King (via Kenton Co. Detention Center)