9-year-old arraigned on murder, arson charges in deaths of 5 in his family

National News

EUREKA, Ill. (AP/CBS Newspath) – A 9-year-old central Illinois boy believed to have set a fire that led to the deaths of five family members has been arraigned on first-degree murder charges.

The Journal Star in Peoria reports Woodford County Circuit Court Judge Charles Feeney on Monday read a juvenile petition citing the murder charges, along with arson counts.

“Everyone is looking at him like he’s some kind of monster, but that’s not who he is,” said Katie Alwood, the boy’s mother.

Feeney explained the juvenile counts and legal processes to the boy, who at times indicated he did not understand. The boy appeared to sob before being taken out of the courtroom by his paternal grandparents.

Feeney appointed a public defender for the boy.

The April 6 fire killed a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds, a 34-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman at a mobile home park about 150 miles southwest of Chicago.

Alwood’s other children Daemeon and Ariel died in the fire. Her grandmother Kathryn, her fiance Jason Wall, and her niece Rose, also were killed.

Alwood was able to get out, but could not save the others.

“I stood at the window and I told my kids I was sorry I couldn’t save them. Mommy was right here and I loved them. At least hopefully they heard that. I told Jason I loved him, I’ll always love him. And then something told me that they’re gone.” Alwood, the boy’s mother, told CBS News.

For more stories like this that matter to you, click here to download the CBS 17 News app for free.

Watch live newscasts, get breaking news and sign up for push alerts – download now

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sponsored Content
Visit Buy Local

Trending Stories