MOUNT VERNON — Two people were indicted Monday by the Knox County grand jury on arson charges after Thursday’s fire at 209 Shirley Ave.
Amber Pilotti, 31, Mount Vernon, and Jedidiah Lang, 31, Mount Vernon, were officially charged with two counts each of aggravated arson.
A first-degree felony aggravated arson charge alleges both Pilotti and Lang started a fire “knowingly, and by means of fire or explosion, creating a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any other person other than the offender. A second aggravated arson charge, a second-degree felony, alleges the pair caused physical damage to the occupied structure at 209 Shirley Ave., as a result of setting a fire.
The first-degree felony charges carries a maximum of 11 years in prison. The second-degree charge has a maximum sentence of eight years.
Brad Grosscup, 52, was found dead in his apartment by the Mount Vernon Fire Department. Knox County Coroner Jennifer Ogle concluded Grosscup died one or two days prior to the fire.
Families living in the three adjacent apartments were provided shelter by the American Red Cross Knox County Chapter.
Mount Vernon Police Department Capt. George Hartz told the News Tuesday the investigation into Grosscup’s death is proceeding quite well.
“Our detectives are doing a fantastic job,” Hartz said. “The investigation is moving much quicker than we anticipated.”
Hartz declined to talk about details of the fire or the murder as the investigation remains ongoing.
Pilotti was held in the Knox County Jail since Sunday while charges were pending.
Lang also spent the weekend in the county jail as the result of a probation violation. Earlier this month, he was charged with domestic violence.
Lang was sentenced to five years in prison for the 2005 death of Bernice Adkins. He pleaded guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge. At the plea hearing, Lang admitted he and Adkins were doing drugs and “We got into an argument and she got violent towards me and I had choked her and laid her on the bed and left and when I came back she was dead.”
Pilotti has an open case of petty theft in Mount Vernon Municipal Court.
Detective Cpl. Matt Dailey, Mount Vernon Police Department, investigated the case. The Mount Vernon Fire Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office were also part of the joint investigative effort.
Arraignment is set for March 1.
Pilotti charged with aggravated arsonFebruary 18, 2013
Body ID’d; cause of death, fire unknown February 16, 2013
Investigation continues in Shirley Avenue fire February 15, 2013
One dead in Shirley Avenue fire February 14, 2013
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