Man Arrested for Starting Fires in a Vacant Lot in Ashland


News Release from Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office
 July 13th, 2023

ASHLAND, Ore. – Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies and Ashland Police Department (APD) officers responded to a report of a man starting fires this morning in a vacant lot near the 2300 block of Ashland Street. The suspect, Joshua Roy Worden, 43, a Medford area transient, was observed setting fires in the area at approximately 7:43 a.m. Witnesses confronted Worden and he fled the scene. While law enforcement was on scene investigating the incident, Worden returned to the location and was taken into custody. Worden was transported to the Jackson County Jail and lodged for reckless burning. Worden was released pre-trial due to Senate Bill 48.

This arrest was a great example of community members staying alert and helping law enforcement to keep us safe. During fire season it is especially important for all of us to have an increased sense of awareness and to keep our community safe. This case is under investigation and no further information is available for release.

Oregon implemented Senate Bill 48 in July of 2022. The bill eliminated bail upon arrest and requires certain criminal charges be immediately released from custody. While this law designates certain crimes for immediate release, thereby removing the discretion from the Jail Supervisor, it also requires that other alleged crimes remain in custody until they can appear before a judge at an initial hearing. For more information on SB48 go to:

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