Outrage as child, 9, charged with five counts of murder over deadly house fire that killed five including three kids

Outrage as child, 9, charged with five counts of murder over deadly house fire that killed five including three kids




A CHILD aged just 9 was last night charged with five
counts of murder over a deadly house fire that killed five –
including three kids.

The decision in Illinois by Woodford County State’s Attorney
Greg Minger has been met with outrage by legal experts.

25 News A fire at a mobile home in
Illinois in April left five members of the same family dead –
including three kids[/caption]

Facebook Jason Wall, 34, left, was
killed along with his two youngest children were killed. His
fiancee Katrina Alwood, 27, right, escaped unharmed with their
eldest child, seen with his face blurred[/caption]

One said: “Nine-year-olds don’t know that Santa Claus
doesn’t exist.”

It comes after a fire in April wiped out five members of the
same family.

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 were killed.

Cops suspect arson was behind the blaze at at the Timberline
Mobile Home Park near Goodfield, about 150 miles southwest of
Chicago.

FIRST CASE IN 13 YEARS

No child as young as this one has been accused in a mass killing
since at least 2006, records show.

The juvenile also was charged with two counts of arson and one
count of aggravated arson, the Journal
Star
reported.

Minger would not reveal other details about the suspect –
including a possible relationship to the victims.

But he insisted he scoured multiple reports on the fire before
proceeding with prosecution.

Woodford County Coroner Tim Ruestman said the fire was started
intentionally.

Legacy.com Kathryn Murray, 69,
Daemeon and Ariel’s great-grandmother, was killed in the
inferno[/caption]

Legacy.com Ariel Wall was the
youngest victim of the house blaze, aged just one[/caption]

Legacy.com The arson blaze claimed
the life of two-year-old Daemeon Wall[/caption]

25 News A coroner ruled that the
April blaze in Illinois was caused by arson[/caption]

Minger said: “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.

“But I just think it needs to be done at this point, for
finality.”

Prosecutors will now be challenged with trying to prove the
child formed an intent to kill in advance – a requirement in
first-degree cases.

But Gus Kostopoulos, a juvenile defense lawyer in Chicago, said:
“Nine-year-olds don’t know that Santa Claus doesn’t
exist.

“They don’t know people die and don’t come back to
life.

“I don’t know if 9-year-olds can form intent to commit
murder.”

The charges are completely out of line, given everything we have
learned … especially about the brain development of children

Betsy ClarkPresident of Juvenile Justice Initiative

Betsy Clark, the president of Juvenile Justice Initiative, also
blasted the decision to charge such a young child with murder.

She said: “The charges are completely out of line, given
everything we have learned … especially about the brain
development of children.”

A United Nations report on the prosecution of children published
this week recommends that children under 14 should never be
prosecuted.

Ms Clark added that 14 is the minimum age of criminal
responsibility in many countries, including Germany.

If convicted, the child could be placed on probation for at
least five years but not beyond the age of 21, Minger said.

Therapy and counselling would be likely.

PROBATION ‘ONLY OUTCOME’

He added: “Probation, given the age, is about the only outcome
that could happen here.”

No arrest warrant is to be issued for the suspect, Minger
said.

But the suspect will be appointed an attorney and will be
subject to a trial in front of a judge.

Under Illinois law, a suspect younger than 10 cannot be
detained.

And a minor is not given a public jury trial and not entitled to
one unless the minor is charged as an adult.

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Last month, a Michigan judge dismissed a murder charge against a
9-year-old accused of fatally shooting his mother in their
home.

St Joseph County Family Division Judge David Tomlinson ruled the
boy was presumed incompetent for trial because he’s not yet
10.

The judge said: “This case disturbs me more than any case
I’ve ever dealt with.”

Legacy.com Rose Alwood, Jason
Wall’s niece who was staying with the family, also died in the
inferno[/caption]

Facebook Father of three Jason Wall
was killed in the April blaze, with police charging a nine-year-old
child[/caption]

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