Stolen car burned; suspect arrested

PAINTSVILLE, Ky. — A complaint last week about a vehicle trespassing at an active coal mine led the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office to a stolen vehicle … or at least what was left of it.

Shawn Gayheart
Shawn Gayheart

A caller told police that the car contained several people, and after the car got stuck in some mud, they began throwing needles and drug paraphernalia out the window.

Before a deputy arrived at the scene, the car was set on fire.

Once the deputy arrived, he determined that the car had been reported stolen, and it was also the same vehicle shown in a surveillance video stealing gasoline earlier the same day.

After additional detective work, the deputy arrested 28-year-old Shawn Gayheart, of Boonscamp, who was allegedly under the influence of meth. He is charged with auto theft, trespassing, public intoxication, criminal mischief, menacing, possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication.