Boy charged in arson deaths of family released
A 10-year-old Greenville, Ohio boy charged with arson and murder in the deaths of five people, including his mother, was released to the custody of his grandmother Monday.
The child denies all the charges, the boy’s attorney, David Rohrer, told Darke County Juvenile Court Judge Michael McClurg on Monday morning. Rohrer also said that the boy’s age prevented him from fully understanding the situation.
According to CNN, Darke County Prosecutor Richard Howell told the Dayton Daily News last week that he was certain the boy was behind the fire. The boy, however, didn’t give investigators a clear motive.
The Associated Press reported September 22 that the boy had confessed to setting the fire, according to authorities. But CNN currently reports that his supporters say he gave in under three days of questioning.
The boy is now under house arrest and staying with grandmother Tammy Reed.
A forensic and psychological examination was planned for Friday.
The judge upheld the charges against the boy Monday: one juvenile court of arson and five counts of murder. The arson count carries a minimum of one to three years in detention. The murder counts could keep the boy in custody until age 21.
The boy could also be labeled a serious youth offender under Ohio law, which could lead to imprisonment for life.
Byer’s mother, Chanan Palmer, 31, and his sister, Kaysha Minnich, 8, died in the fire that roared through the two-story wood-frame duplex Sunday morning.
Also killed were Kayla Winans, 6, JeShawn Davis, 5, and Jasmine Davis, 3. They were the children of Christy Winans, 31, who escaped the fire.
Escaping the fire were Palmer’s son and Winans’ boyfriend.
The Associated Press: