Hazard landlord pleads not guilty to charges

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 12:05 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 8:54 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Perry County landlord Brian Carter, who was arraigned in Perry County District Court on Monday, has pleaded not guilty to wanton endangerment and failure to abide by city ordinance.

Carter was the owner of an apartment building in Hazard that caught on fire in June, leading to the evacuation of the building and a nearby structure referred to as the ‘Treehouse building,’ which he also owned.

Fire victim Gordon Fugate, who lost many of his belongings, said Carter should pay them back.

“I’m hoping that he gives us our rent money because we need it. We need it to take care of -- peoples’ got youngins’, you know. That would help,” said Fugate.

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Another victim, Allie Barger, who lived in the Treehouse building, told WYMT she strongly disagrees with the not guilty plea.

“Brian Carter saying he’s not guilty is just insanity. He knew those apartments were not safe nor up to code. It’s time he admits his wrongs & faces the consequences. This has been a very devastating time for everyone involved. Justice needs to be served for this community,” said Barger in a written statement.

Carter and his lawyer, John Hansen, declined to do an interview. Hansen did however tell WYMT that he does not think the charges have any probable cause.

The pre-trial date for Brian Carter is set for Oct. 31.