Accused arsonist dies

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Michael Wells found dead at home, was indicted last week

By The Staff

General Manager

The Eminence man charged with setting a fire that destroyed his father’s auto-parts store has died.

Michael G. Wells, 46, was found dead in his home Dec. 13, less than a week after he was indicted on charges related to the Aug. 30  fire that destroyed the Eminence Auto Parts/NAPA store.

Preliminary autopsy results were inconclusive, and Henry County Coroner Jimmy Pollard said foul play is not suspected. He said toxicology results would be available in six to eight weeks.

Pollard declined to speculate on a cause of death.

“It’s just really hard to say ... until we get the test results back, we really won’t know,” he said.

The Henry County Grand Jury indicted Wells last week for second degree arson, two counts of terroristic threatening, one count of disorderly conduct and an unrelated charge of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud/false statement/forgery.

Wells initially fled to LaGrange, and was found there at the Comfort Suites. According to the grand jury file, Wells’ father provided investigators with a written statement stating that his son called and claimed to have set the fire.

After being found at the hotel, Wells reportedly blocked the door to his room with furniture. According to the arrest citation, officers contacted both the Henry and Oldham county attorneys, who gave them approval to enter the room.

Upon entry, officers found that Wells had locked himself in the room’s bathroom and “said that he would kill us all.”

See Michael Wells obituary on page A3

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