Police said they had been looking for Simpson since Monday after the Greenup County Grand Jury indicted him on a charge of arson in the burning of Cook’s Farm Center in South Shore just over two months ago.
He was in the Greenup County Detention Center on Friday under a $100,000 cash-only bond, according to a spokesperson in the jail.
Simpson is charged with second-degree arson, a Class B felony, and with tampering with physical evidence, a Class D felony, according to a report handed up Feb. 24 by the grand jury and released Monday by the Greenup County Circuit Court Clerk’s office.
Simpson operated a farm and feed store in the one-story portion of the two-story building for the building’s owners, Robert and Ryan Sells of Ironton.
Simpson had been stealing merchandise from the store and wanted to destroy evidence that would be turned up in an inventory, according to the KSP.
“Believing that an official proceeding was pending or may have been instituted, he concealed physical evidence, which he believed was about to be produced or used in the official proceeding with the intent to impair its verity or availability in the official proceeding,” the indictment against Simpson charges.
He was at the scene when the fire was discovered early Dec. 27 and reported the fire to the South Shore Volunteer Fire Department, police said.
South Shore and four other volunteer fire departments kept the blaze from spreading to the Greenup County Health Center clinic behind the store and other businesses in downtown.
The historic 1926 building, once home to the
S.M. Roberson grocery and drygoods store, was destroyed. What was left of the walls has been removed and bulldozed into the basement. Workers were hauling fill dirt to level the lot on Wednesday.
Robert Sells said Friday he so far had no plans to rebuild.
“I haven’t decided on what we will do there, and I really have no statement on the situation there at all,” Sells said.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236, or email@example.com.