Covington Police Chief: Latonia stand off suspect may have connection to January fatal fire

COVINGTON, Ky. – Covington Police Chief Spike Jones confirmed on Tuesday that his department is exploring a possible connection between Sunday's Latonia stand off suspect Michael Vaughan and a fatal fire that took place in January.

“We are interested in speaking with him in reference to the incident,” Jones said in a phone interview with WCPO.

The incident Jones referred to was a blaze that leveled a house at 12 East 41st Street in Covington and killed James Fogle Jr., 62 in the early morning hours of Jan. 22, 2013.

Fogle was found on the second floor of the building, according Covington Fire Chief Dan Matthew. When firefighters arrived at approximately 4:30 a.m. that day, the home was fully engulfed in flames and was initially difficult to enter, Matthew said.

Fogle’s wife and daughter escaped the blaze by jumping out of a window. Weather conditions and downed power lines made rescue and controlling the blaze more difficult at the time, Matthew said.

RELATED: Large Latonia house fire kills 1, injures 2

Jones would not comment on how strong his department's belief is that Vaughan might be connected with the fire.

On Saturday, Vaughan engaged in a 20-plus hour standoff with Covington police a few blocks away in the 4300 block of Michigan Avenue. Vaughan’s three children were in that house initially. He released them at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday.

Hours later, after exchanging gunfire with police multiple times, Vaughan attempted to catch his own house on fire, then exchanging more gunfire with police before being shot in the arm and surrendering.

"Vaughan once again engaged our officers from elevated position with a rifle. We returned fire in Vaughan's direction and struck him one time that we are aware of," said Jones after the incident ended at about 1 p.m. Sunday.

Vaughan was arrested on a mental health warrant, charged with attempted murder of a police officer, and transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for a mental health evaluation and treatment of his gunshot wound.

He remained at UC Tuesday. Vaughan’s children were released to family members.

RELATED: Chief Jones thanks officers, community for courage during Latonia standoff

Records indicate Vaughan also was stripped of leadership duties after complaints of sexual harassment and behavior unbecoming an officer in 2010 or 2011. Vaughan claimed the accusations and disciplinary actions were baseless in a lawsuit he filed.

He was also arrested in May for violating a Kentucky Emergency Protective Order in Kenton County.

No matter the outcome in the separate arson investigation, Jones confirmed the Army soldier who served in Afghanistan will more than likely face further charges relating to the standoff.

"He will need to be held accountable for the acts he committed (on Sunday)," Jones said.

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