Ironton man charged with assault in Perry fire

Published 10:13 am Friday, May 1, 2009

PERRY TOWNSHIP — A man accused of assaulting his estranged wife and then setting a fire at her home will be charged with felonious assault, Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless said Thursday.

Tom Wilcox, 38, of Vernon Street, is in a Louisville, Ky., hospital. Lawless said Wilcox, who was also injured in the fire, will be taken into custody as soon as his condition improves. The fire is being called “intentional.”

“While we can’t share many specifics of the case or discuss how the fire was started, we can tell you that sufficient evidence existed to determine the fire was intentionally set,” said state fire marshal spokesman Shane Cartmill.

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“Additionally, evidence samples collected at the scene will be brought to the Division of State Fire Marshal’s forensic laboratory in Reynoldsburg for further analysis.”

In the meantime, Louisville police are assisting local authorities with Tom Wilcox’s supervision.

The victim, Amy Wilcox, 38, of 95 Private Drive 254, was first taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., and then by helicopter to a hospital in Cincinnati. Lawless said her condition is very serious. One of the couple’s two children was at the Perry Township house at the time of the fire but was not injured, Lawless said.

“All indications seems to be, it was a domestic dispute,” Lawless said. He said the woman was likely assaulted before the fire was set.

Detectives searched Tom Wilcox’ Vernon Street house Thursday afternoon.