When a nine-year-old boy started a fire, the blaze resulted in the death of five people. The boy started the fire inside a tiny mobile home and ended up killing two adults and three toddlers. Now that child, who is in elementary school, has been charged with arson as well as five counts of first-degree murder in connection to the mobile home fire in Illinois.
It is highly unusual for a child age nine to be charged with murder, but Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger believed that the punishment should fit the crime, no matter the age of the perpetrator. Besides the five counts of first-degree murder, Minger added that the little boy had been slammed with two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson because he intentionally started the fire with the hopes of killing the people it killed.
The blaze ripped through the mobile home in the village of Goodfield on April 6. It killed a one-year-old baby named Ariel Wall; her two-year-old brother Daemeon Wall, and their cousin, two-year-old Rose Alwood; Ariel and Daemeon’s father, 34-year-old Jason Wall, and the children’s maternal great-grandmother, 69-year-old Kathyrn Murray.
The arson resulted in the deaths of people across four generations of people. It was a massacre on a micro level but a massacre nonetheless. And destruction and death were the hope of the child who started the fire.
Every victim died from smoke inhalation because they were trapped in the burning mobile home in Timberline Mobile Home Park.
The only ones who escaped the deadly inferno were Jason’s fiancé, 27-year-old Katrina, and her eight-year-old son from the previous relationship. It was later revealed by the state attorney that the young murder and arson suspect probably had previous relations with his victims, thus starting him on the dangerous path to murder.
Although Minger is holding the details of the murderous event close to his chest – it does involve a young minor at the crux of the death and destruction – he is going after the child with everything he can. If the boy is convicted of all charges, he could face at least five years of probation but not beyond the age of 21 years. He would also probably have to go through rigorous counseling to see what caused him to kill innocent children.
The boy is expected to go through a bench trial and will not face imprisonment. However, his crimes are very serious and will get the full attention of the law and the proper intervention needed to make sure he does not do something like this again.
Charges were filed against the child about six months after the fire was started. The fire started at about 11 pm on April 6, 2019, and by the time firefighters arrived minutes later, the trailer was engulfed in flames – those mobile homes can go up like matchbooks.
Minger admitted it was a “heavy decision” to charge the boy with first-degree murder but concluded it had to be done “for finality.”
What do you think about the details of this crime?
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