Trial approaching in arson, manslaughter case

Aug. 31—CATLETTSBURG — A jury trial date remains as set for an Ashland man accused of killing a woman in a house fire in October 2020.

The March 2024 trial involving Demetrius Butler, 53, won't face a delay despite a new attorney joining Butler's defense.

With the retirement of Brian Hewlett, Whitney Davis with Boyd County's Department of Public Advocacy (DPA), said a public advocate, Josh Miller, out of Lexington, was stepping in to represent Butler on his case.

Butler is accused of setting fire to a home in the 3000 block of Rail Road Street on Oct. 26, 2020, which later claimed the life of Raven N. Warner.

Previous reports state Warner was Butler's girlfriend at the time.

Butler was initially indicted by a grand jury on a sole count of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree arson in April 2021 but later saw an upgraded charge of murder after lab reports provided additional evidence to prosecutors.

Prosecutors also tacked on a persistent felony offender (PFO) enhancer due to Butler's alleged lengthy criminal history.

Butler will appear for another pre-trial conference on Sept. 28.

If the jury convicts Butler on the existing charges, he faces 50 years in prison, with the possibility of the PFO enhancement meaning additional time.

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