The arson trial of Nicholas Wade Carter, 19, was scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 5. However, he is in prison in Missouri.
Carter is accused of starting a fire at 110 East Robinson on March 25, 2013. The fire broke out around 1:50 p.m. A passerby reported the fire by calling 911.
Lt. Justin Kingrey with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the County’s fire investigator, began to look into the situation shortly thereafter. In an affidavit Kingery filed, the investigator said he learned that there were two individuals in the building before the fire began. He alleges that Carter was one of them, and that Carter was present minutes before the call came into the sheriff’s office.
Carter allegedly admitted to being there. The fire began when a candle was lit, and the open flame was placed near combustible materials. Carter is accused of intentionally walking out with the candle burning. The candle was placed out of the sight of the second individual. Court records say that Carter knew his friend would put the flame out if the friend had seen it, and Carter did not want that to happen.
Kingrey’s complaint against Carter reads, “(Carter) wanted to burn some of the stuff that was in the building because he was tired of cleaning the items out of the building and just wanted to be done with it.” Five fire departments (City of Knoxville, Knoxville Township, Indiana Township, Pleasantville and Pella) responded to the blaze.
According to the Missouri Department of Corrections website, Carter is at the Fulton Reception and Diagnostic Center, serving two years on a charge of first-degree motor vehicle tampering. No official action to postpone his arson trial had been taken by our deadline. Assistant County Attorney Tiffany Kragnes said she does not expect the trial to begin Wednesday and is unsure of when Carter will be prosecuted for the fire.