The juvenile, who was not identified, was charged with five counts of murder in the April 6 blaze, reported the Peoria Journal-Star newspaper. Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger added that the 9-year-old also faces two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson.
Kathryn Murray, 69; Jason Wall, 34; Rose Alwood, 2; Daemeon Wall, 2; and Ariel Wall, 1; were killed in the fire, officials said.
The fire started at around 11 p.m. on the night of April 6 at a mobile home in Goodfield, said authorities. The trailer was totally engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived on the scene.
The five died of smoke inhalation, the Journal-Star also reported.
Minger didn’t reveal any other details about the suspect, including the age or their relationship to the victims, reported The Associated Press.
If convicted, the child could be placed on probation for at least five years but not beyond the age of 21. The child would also likely receive therapy and counseling, according to AP.
Katrina Alwood, 27, and her son survived the fire. She and Jason Wall were slated to get married, the paper reported.
They were the parents of Ariel and Daemon Wall, while Rose was a niece. Muray was Katrina Alwood’s grandmother, she said.
Woodford County Coroner Tim Ruestman ruled the five’s deaths as homicides, WEEK25 reported. The official cause of death was homicide by smoke inhalation.
A number of local news reports didn’t reveal the suspect’s gender. However, Ruestman on Tuesday referred to the suspect as a “he,” CentralIllinoisProud.com reported.
Minger told the news outlet that he decided to charge the child after reading official reports about the fire several times.
“It was a heavy decision,” he said. “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.”
He added, “I just think it needs to be done at this point, for finality.”
The child would be subjected to a bench trial, which includes just a judge and no jury, Minger said.
Other details about the case are not clear.