The Herald Bulletin

July 26, 2013

Accused inmate reacts to fire allegations

By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — From inside Madison County Jail, James Kilgore turned the accusations back on the mother who claims he was involved in the burning of her daughter.

In fact, on Friday, Kilgore said the biggest mistake of his life was getting involved with Sonya Troub's family.

"They're bald-faced lies," Kilgore said. "I'm the victim."

On Thursday, Troub accused Kilgore, 43, of orchestrating an attack on one of her daughters, Melanie Lyons, 37. Lyons was seriously burned on July 10, hours after her birthday in her home in the 1100 block of Indian Mounds Drive. She is currently in the Wishard Burn Unit in Indianapolis and is in very serious condition, with burns over 90 percent of her body. Doctors have told the woman's family she has less than a 10 percent chance of survival.

Investigators are examining whether she was burned as the result of an accident or foul play. Kilgore was in jail at the time of the incident, but Troub has suggested Kilgore hired someone to carry out the attack.

Kilgore has pending cases of invasion of privacy involving Lyons, who was also set to testify against him in a sexual-misconduct case on Aug. 8. Troub said he was trying to keep her daughter from testifying.

Kilgore denied it all, and said he's been harassed by Troub's family for years. He is the ex-husband of another of Troub's daughters and has two children with her. He said Lyons, Troub and several other women have plotted to keep him in jail and away from his 14- and 16-year-old children.

"I spent 13 years in prison, and when I got out, I could tell they just weren't the same people I used to know," Kilgore said. "They've been trying to take my kids."

Anderson Police Detective Joel Sandefur said there are a lot of anomalies in the burn investigation, and because they likely won't be able to speak to Melanie, it's possible they won't be able to find out what happened. He said he couldn't speak to the validity of Troub's accusations.

What police do know is Lyons, a mother of five, was downstairs in her home on July 10, and at about 1 a.m., the woman started screaming for help. Her husband, Chad Lyons, 40, rushed downstairs to find her on fire.

Kilgore said he has his own side of the story to tell, in both the burning and sexual misconduct accusations, but is unwilling to say much else until court.

"Let's just say, if I can get all my witnesses together, I'll have nothing to worry about," Kilgore said.

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