9-year-old charged in deadly Illinois fire that killed three toddlers.
A nine-year-old boy from Illinois has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder in connection with a mobile home fire that killed five people, among them three young children.
Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger announced on Tuesday that the juvenile suspect also has been charged with two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson, accused of intentionally starting the deadly fire.
The April 6 inferno near the village of Goodfield killed one-year-old Ariel Wall; her brother Daemeon Wall and cousin Rose Alwood, both aged two; Ariel and Daemeon’s father, 34-year-old Jason Wall, and the children’s maternal great-grandmother, 69-year-old Kathryn Murray.
All five victims died of smoke inhalation inside the family’s trailer at Timberline Mobile Home Park.
Jason Wall’s fiancee, 27-year-old Katrina Wall, and her son from a previous relationship, Kyle Alwood, then aged eight, managed to escape the fire.
Minger would not reveal to the Journal Star other details about the young murder and arson suspect, including a possible relationship to the victims.
He said the child, if convicted, could be placed on probation for at least five years but not beyond the age of 21, and would likely receive counseling.
He will not be imprisoned, if found guilty by a judge during a bench trial.
The criminal charges were filed against the unnamed nine-year-old suspect six months after the deadly arson fire, which broke out at around 11pm on April 6 at 14 Cypress Court.
By the time firefighters responded to the scene six minutes later, the trailer home had been engulfed in flames.
Neighbor AnnaMarie Siebert told the Journal Star at the time that screams could be heard coming from the burning property, but the flames were too intense for bystanders to try and rescue the trapped residents.
Katrina Wall and her son Kyle were taken to an area hospital and later released.
Minger said it was a ‘heavy decision’ to charge a nine-year-old with one of the most serious offense there is, but he concluded that it had to be done ‘for finality.’
According to an online obituary, Jason Wall was a US Army veteran who served several tours of duty abroad, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea.
After retiring from military service, Wall worked as a truck driver. He devoted his free time to hunting and spending time with his fiancee and their children.
The obituary notes that Wall was raising Katrina Alwood’s eldest child, Kyle, ‘like his own son.’
Alwood’s grandmother, Kathryn Murray, was a homemaker and an artist who enjoyed drawing and sewing. Her other hobbies included cooking, camping and fishing.
‘She was known as the best Grandma,’ the woman’s obituary reads.
Daemeon Wall, aged two, was a fan of the Mickey Mouse Club House, with Goofy being his favorite character, and enjoyed watching the animated film Happy Feet. The toddler was said to have been ‘very protective’ of his baby sister, Ariel.
The one-year-old girl, Jason and Kathryn’s youngest child, loved to grown and make the ‘Chewbacca’ sound with her dad, according to her obituary.
Two-year-old Rose Alwood, Kathryn Alwood’s niece, loved the Disney film Coco.
‘Her favorite words that she always said were “katchup” and “mine,”’ according to the toddler’s memorial page. ‘She loved doing arts and craft projects with grandma and was especially known for photo-bombing her mother.’