- A 9-year-old child is charged with murder and arson after five people died in a mobile home park blaze in Illinois.
- On April 6, three toddlers and two adults died of smoke inhalation in a home in the Timberline mobile home park, 150 miles southwest of Chicago, the Peoria Journal Star reported.
- Woodford County state’s attorney declined to identify the child on Tuesday, but said the coroner found the fire was started intentionally by someone who knew people were inside.
- The state’s attorney told the Star the child wouldn’t go to jail in any scenario, but may be “put on probation for at least five years but not beyond the age of 21.”
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A 9-year-old has been charged with arson and murder after five people died in a deadly Illinois mobile home park blaze.
On Tuesday, Woodford County state’s attorney Greg Minger said he would not identify the child, but that county coroner Tim Ruestman found the fire was started intentionally, the AP wrote.
“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,” Minger told the AP.
“I just think it needs to be done at this point, for finality.”
The child is also charged with arson and aggravated arson, the Star reported, adding that Minger said the aggravated charge suggested the child knew people were inside the home.
The victims all died of smoke inhalation.
They have been identified as engaged couple Kathryn Murray, 69, and Jason Wall, 34, and their two children Daemeon, 2, and Ariel,1, Wall. The fifth and final victim was Rose Alwood, 2, Wall’s niece.
According to a database managed by the AP, USA Today, and Northeastern University: “No child as young as this one has been accused in a mass killing [four or more victims] since at least 2006,” the AP wrote.
The state’s attorney told the Star the child wouldn’t go to jail in any scenario, but said they could be “put on probation for at least five years but not beyond the age of 21.”