PICTURED: Nine-year-old ‘arsonist’ charged with first-degree murder in mobile home fire that killed five relatives, including three toddlers, as mother insists he’s NOT a monster and just made a mistake
- April 6 trailer home fire near Peoria, Illinois, killed Ariel Wall, 1; Daemeon Wall and Rose Alwood, 2; Jason Wall, 34, and Kathryn Murray, 69
- Wall’s fiancee, Katrina Alwood, 27, and her son Kyle, then aged eight, escaped
- Alwood has now identified her son Kyle as the accused arsonist
- She told CBS This Morning the nine-year-old had been recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, ADHD and bipolar disorder
- Kyle was charged this week with five counts of first-degree murder, two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson
- If convicted, Kyle could be placed on probation for at least five years but not beyond the age of 21, and will not be imprisoned
Kyle Alwood, nine, has been identified by his mother as the Illinois boy who was charged earlier this week with five counts of first-degree murder in connection to a deadly April fire
The mother of a nine-year-old boy from Illinois who has been charged with murder in connection to a deadly arson fire that wiped up most of his immediate family has spoken out for the first time, saying that the child suffers from mental illness and is not a monster.
Katrina Alwood appeared on CBS This Morning on Thursday, two days after her sole surviving child, Kyle Alwood, was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson, accused of intentionally setting his family’s mobile home ablaze in April.
The inferno near the village of Goodfield killed his two half-siblings, one-year-old Ariel and two-year-old Daemeon Wall; his cousin, Rose Alwood, aged two; Kyle’s stepfather, 34-year-old Jason Wall, and the children’s maternal great-grandmother, 69-year-old Kathryn Murray.
All five victims died of smoke inhalation inside the family’s trailer at Timberline Mobile Home Park.
Katrina, Jason’s fiancee, and her son from a previous relationship, Kyle, were the only people who managed to escape the burning residence.
The 27-year-old mother told CBS that Kyle had been recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and ADHD. She also revealed that the boy in the past had shown interest in lighters and fire.
‘Everyone is looking at him like he’s some kind of monster, but that’s not who he is,’ Alwood told the news outlet. ‘People make mistakes, and that’s what this is. Yes, it was a horrible tragedy, but it’s still not something to throw his life away over.’
Katrina Alwood said her son Kyle is not ‘some kind of monster.’ The woman insisted the nine-year-old suffering from mental illness had made a mistake
This April 6 fire near Peoria, Illinois, killed Kyle Alwood’s family, including three toddlers and two adults
The arson fire claimed the lives of two-year-old Daemeon Wall (left) and his one-year-old sister, Ariel Wall (right)
The siblings’ father, US Army veteran Jason Wall, 34, also died of smoke inhalation
Niece Rose Alwood, aged two, was staying with the Wall family and perished in the blaze
Daemeon, Ariel and Kyle’s great-grandmother, Kathryn Murray, 69, was killed in the fire
Katrina recounted during the emotional interview how she stood at the window of her burning home and told her toddler son and daughter she was sorry she could not save them.
‘Mommy was right here and I loved them,’ Katrina recalled telling her dying children. ‘You know, so, at least hopefully they heard that. I told Jason I loved him… And then something told me that they’re gone.’
Katrina also talked about hearing her fiance scream, and choked back tears remembering the moment the screams ceased.
Despite the heartbreak wrought by her son, Katrina is hoping the judge will take into account his mental health problems and will show leniency.
‘I forgive him. I love him no matter what,’ the mom said of Kyle.
Her sister Samantha Alwood, who lost her baby daughter Rose in the fire, wants to see her nephew sent to juvenile detention and eventually to prison for his actions.
‘Because at the end of the day, whether he meant to or not, he knew what fire did,’ Samantha said.
Kyle Alwood has not been detained, but because of the death threats the nine-year-old boy has been receiving, he has been sent to stay with relatives in an undisclosed location. He is due back in court on October 21.
Neighbors could hear screams coming from the Wall family’s mobile home (pictured) but the flames were too intense for anyone to try and rescue the reisdences
Wall’s fiancee, Katrina, 27 (pictured right holding a baby), and her eldest child, Kyle Alwood, then aged eight (center), escaped unharmed
Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger, who filed the charges against Kyle on Tuesday, said the child, if convicted, could be placed on probation for at least five years but not beyond the age of 21, and would likely receive counseling.
He will not be imprisoned, if found guilty by a judge during a bench trial.
Samantha Alwood, Katrina’s sister and baby Rose’s mother, wants to see her nephew imprisoned
The criminal charges were brought against Kyle six months after the deadly arson fire, which broke out at around 11pm on April 6 at 14 Cypress Court.
By the time firefighters responded to the scene six minutes later, the trailer home had been engulfed in flames.
Neighbor AnnaMarie Siebert told the Journal Star at the time that screams could be heard coming from the burning property, but the flames were too intense for bystanders to try and rescue the trapped residents.
Katrina Alwood and Kyle were taken to an area hospital and later released.
Minger said it was a ‘heavy decision’ to charge a nine-year-old with one of the most serious offense there is, but he concluded that it had to be done ‘for finality.’
According to an online obituary, Jason Wall was a US Army veteran who served several tours of duty abroad, including in Iraq, Afghanistan and Korea.
After retiring from military service, Wall worked as a truck driver. He devoted his free time to hunting and spending time with his fiancee and their children.
Katrina says she has forgiven her son for what he had done and she loves him unconditionally
The obituary notes that Wall was raising Katrina Alwood’s eldest child, Kyle, ‘like his own son.’
Alwood’s grandmother, Kathryn Murray, was a homemaker and an artist who enjoyed drawing and sewing. Her other hobbies included cooking, camping and fishing.
‘She was known as the best Grandma,’ the woman’s obituary reads.
Daemeon Wall, aged two, was a fan of the Mickey Mouse Club House, with Goofy being his favorite character, and enjoyed watching the animated film Happy Feet. The toddler was said to have been ‘very protective’ of his baby sister, Ariel.
The one-year-old girl, Jason and Katrina’s youngest child, loved to growl and make the ‘Chewbacca’ sound with her dad, according to her obituary.
Two-year-old Rose Alwood, Katrina Alwood’s niece, loved the Disney film Coco.
‘Her favorite words that she always said were “katchup” and “mine,”’ according to the toddler’s memorial page. ‘She loved doing arts and craft projects with grandma and was especially known for photo-bombing her mother.’
Source: Read Full Article