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Sailor charged with setting fire that destroyed warship is from Kentucky

FILE - In this July 12, 2020, file photo, smoke rises from the USS Bonhomme Richard in San...
FILE - In this July 12, 2020, file photo, smoke rises from the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego after an explosion and fire on board the ship at Naval Base San Diego. The U.S. Navy said Thursday, July 29, 2021, that charges have been filed against a sailor who is accused of starting a fire last year that destroyed a warship docked off San Diego. The amphibious assault ship called the USS Bonhomme Richard burned for more than four days and was the Navy's worst U.S. warship fire outside of combat in recent memory.(AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)
Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 7:19 PM EDT
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WKYT) - The sailor charged with starting a fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard last year is from Ashland, Kentucky.

Ryan Sawyer Mays’ attorney, Gary Barthel, with the Military Law Center in San Diego confirmed this to WKYT.

Barthel says his client “always enjoyed being in the Navy and making it a career” and adds Mays has “consistently denied the allegations and continues to do so.”

The July 2020 fire burned for more than four days. About 160 sailors and officers were on board, and more than 60 sailors and civilians were treated for minor injuries, heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation, according to The Associated Press.

A spokesperson said Thursday Mays was charged with aggravated arson and the willful hazarding of a vessel.

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