U of L professor says he's innocent of felony charges
A University of Louisville professor who's facing serious charges, is telling his side of the story. Dr. Ede Warner is accused of starting a fire inside his own house with his wife and child inside.
Dr. Warner didn't answer questions Friday, only reading from a prepared written statement. But in it he is very emotional and passionate in proclaiming his innocence. "I want to publicly maintain that I am a hundred percent innocent of all of the charges."
Dr. Ede Warner was choked up from beginning to end in reading his prepared statement to the media Friday morning. "My commitment to my wife has spanned 18 years of dating and marriage."
But he was very clear in maintaining his innocence of the charges against him. "I look forward to the opportunity to present additional evidence, facts, witnesses and my interpretation of the story to restore my good name, my reputation and my credibility, all soiled by these recent events."
Those events happened this past Sunday when metro police responded to a domestic disturbance call at his home. "There has never been one domestic disturbance incident in my life prior to Sunday's allegations."
Warner is charged with arson, assault and wanton endangerment. Police say he placed a coat on a stove causing a fire at his own house with his wife and child inside and later threw his wife to the ground. "A very small part of my family's private business has been publicly aired and I'm left with an enormously difficult choice, air more of it in an effort to clear my name, or ignore it and accept the heavy negative consequences I'm faced with."
The negative consequences could be felt at the University of Louisville where Warner is a professor of Pan-African studies and coach of the debate team. "I want to provide every assurance to my debaters, students, colleagues and other campus officials that I will continue to provide the same safe and high quality educational experiences as I have in the past."
The University released a statement Friday saying: "We're concerned about the charges against professor Warner and we'll continue to monitor the situation. While this is a matter for Dr. Warner and the legal system, we support Dr. Warner's voluntary decision to withdraw from his summer teaching duties and seek guidance from the University's employee assistance program."
Warner says, "Although I strongly maintain my innocence, I will voluntarily participate in the University's employee assistance plan beginning next week."
Dr. Warner is scheduled to be back in court on July 29th. Meanwhile, he says he has heard from hundreds of supporters since his arrest.