A 9-year-old child has been charged with first-degree murder, he allegedly set fire to an Illinois mobile home, murdering three children and two adults.
According to Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger, the boy also meets two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson. He is charged with five murder counts.
The child’s name was not released because of his age, and the prosecutor refused to provide additional information, including whether the boy and the victims were related.
Minger’s decision to charge the boy came six months after the fire began about 11 p.m. on a Saturday in April at the Cypress Court mobile home park in Eureka, about 20 miles east of Peoria.
Within minutes, the entire trailer was engulfed in flames, firefighters said.
Killed were Kathryn Murray, 69, Jason Wall, 34, Rose Alwood, 2, Daemon Wall, 2, and Ariel Wall 1. All five victims died from smoke inhalation. There were two survivors, Katrina Alwood, who was 27 at the time of the fire, and her juvenile son, whose age was not given.
Katrina was engaged to Jason Wall, and they were the parents of Ariel and Daemon. Murray was Katrina’s grandmother. Rose was Katrina’s niece.
The prosecutor said he spent long hours reviewing reports about the fire before filing charges.
He instructed reporters, according to The Associated Press, “It was a heavy decision. It’s a tragedy, but at the end of the day it’s charging a very young person with one of the most serious crimes we have.”
The charges were filed on Tuesday. The child will be appointed an attorney and will be tried by a judge without a jury, the prosecutor said.
If convicted, the boy could be placed on probation for at five years, but not past the age of 21, he said. Counseling and psychological testing will most likely be part of the child’s probation should he be found guilty, Minger said.
Incarceration is not on the table in this case, he said.