June trial set in arson/murder case

Dec. 29—CATLETTSBURG — A Boyd County Circuit Court Judge set a trial date for June 5, 2023, in the case against an Ashland man accused of burning up his girlfriend in an October 2020 fire.

Judge John Vincent set the case after hearing from Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Christina Smith (at her last day on the job) that all evidence has been turned over to the defense.

Smith requested the trial be set six months out in order to give attorneys time to file notices if they intend to use expert witnesses.

Demetrius Butler, 52, of Ashland, is potentially facing the death penalty in the case.

Prosecutors say Butler burned up his girlfriend, Raven N. Warner, in a fire in the 3000 block of Railroad Street in Ashland on Oct. 26, 2020.

The trial could be continued — Butler's attorney, public defender Brian Hewlett, was not at court Thursday, so public defender Charles Oppenheimer was filling in.

"I don't have his schedule in front of me, but I'm sure if there's a problem he'll let you know," Oppenheimer said.

Vincent also set a pretrial date for Feb. 23, 2023, in order to "keep a finger on this case."