A nine-year-old child accused of causing a mobile home fire that killed three children and two adults in Illinois has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
The juvenile also was charged with two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson, the ‘Peoria Journal Star’ reported.
The fire on April 6 killed a one-year-old, two two-year-olds, a man aged 34 and a 69-year-old woman at the Timberline Mobile Home Park near the village of Goodfield, about 240km south-west of Chicago.
Woodford County state’s attorney Greg Minger would not reveal other details about the suspect.
No child this young has been accused in a mass killing since at least 2006, according to the AP/USAToday/Northeastern University mass murder database.
Mr Minger said he scoured multiple reports on the fire before proceeding with prosecution. Woodford County coroner Tim Ruestman said the fire was started intentionally.
“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,” Mr Minger said.
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