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Wed Oct 9, 2019, 02:49 AM

9-year-old charged with murder in 5 Illinois fire deaths

Source: Associated Press


Michael Tarm and Ken Kusmer, Associated Press
Updated 11:50 pm CDT, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — A 9-year-old child accused of causing a mobile home fire that killed three children and two adults in central 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 April 6 fire killed a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds, a 34-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman at the Timberline Mobile Home Park near the village of Goodfield, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

. . .

No child as young as this one has been accused in a mass killing since at least 2006, according to the AP/USATODAY/Northeastern University mass murder database. It tracks all U.S. homicides since then in which four or more people were killed (not including the offender) over a short period of time (24 hours), regardless of weapon, location, victim-offender relationship or motive.


Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/9-year-old-to-face-5-murder-charges-in-deadly-14501171.php

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply 9-year-old charged with murder in 5 Illinois fire deaths (Original post)
Judi Lynn Oct 9 OP
BigmanPigman Oct 9 #1
stopdiggin Oct 9 #3
emmaverybo Oct 9 #4
Demsrule86 Oct 9 #18
emmaverybo Oct 9 #24
Demsrule86 Oct 9 #25
emmaverybo Oct 10 #30
NotHardly Oct 9 #2
Skittles Oct 9 #5
Baconator Oct 9 #6
Ilsa Oct 9 #13
Demsrule86 Oct 9 #19
Fix The Stupid Oct 9 #11
LanternWaste Oct 9 #15
Demsrule86 Oct 9 #26
Newest Reality Oct 9 #28
Demsrule86 Oct 9 #20
Lib 4 Life Oct 9 #7
TNNurse Oct 9 #8
Demsrule86 Oct 9 #21
IronLionZion Oct 9 #9
WhiskeyGrinder Oct 9 #10
RobinA Oct 9 #12
Nitram Oct 9 #14
alphafemale Oct 9 #16
MicaelS Oct 9 #17
Demsrule86 Oct 9 #22
MicaelS Oct 9 #23
Demsrule86 Oct 9 #27
jayfish Oct 9 #29
RandiFan1290 Oct 10 #31
duhneece Oct 10 #32

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 02:59 AM

1. I don't agree with this statement.

"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," he said. "I don't know if 9-year-olds can form intent to commit murder."

"A leading Illinois advocate for children ensnared in the criminal justice system sharply criticized the decision to charge a child that young with murder."

I taught in Elementary School for 15+ and my students who were younger than 9 definitely knew what death meant and they also were fully aware of the "Santa story".

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 03:28 AM

3. agree. that vastly overstates the case

this really does jump out as a case though. They must have felt that "intent" was thoroughly established (even in a younger mind) and that is the critical element. This will clearly go through the juvenile system?

From Chronicle article:
"The charges are completely out of line, given everything we have learned ... especially about the brain development of children," said Betsy Clark, the president of Juvenile Justice Initiative, based in Evanston, Illinois.

Clark spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday by phone from New York, where she was attending the official release of a United Nations report on the prosecution of children. It recommends that children under 14 should never be prosecuted, no matter the crime.

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

In the 1890s, Illinois became among the first places in the world to establish a juvenile court, thereby taking minors out of the adult system, Clark said. But the case announced this week shows Illinois is no longer on the cutting age of juvenile justice, she said.

But then the question remains -- where and what IS justice under such circumstances?

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 03:45 AM

4. There are child murderers. A child can not be labeled a sociopath, but they certainly can be budding

ones, usually not homicidal, but he could be. In this case, does not seem child was playing with matches. However, very doubtful the first degree charge will stick. But he does need treatment, monitoring, family intervention quite possibly.

According to Illinois law, he is too young to detain. He will be on probation. In a good probation system, he will be followed by a team who will act as advocates for his rehabilitation, not as punishers. They will work together to see he gets therapy, to develop an educational plan, and to
adequately supervise him. He will get a great deal of help in a good system. It sounds like he needs it. Juvenile judges are sympathetic to young defendants, generally speaking.

His record will be sealed. Sure, they overcharged. But I too believe a 9 year old capable of forming intent to harm and to kill. This one? We don’t know. May be mitigating factors. All that will get introduced. He will have strong advocacy.

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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 08:33 PM

18. No 9 year old should be tried for murder...this is why I don't serve on juries are

system is out of control...I could never convict anyone. Child needs massive help and be sent to juvie. I do not believe a 9 year old understands death.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #18)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 09:56 PM

24. They are not supposed to detain him in juvenile custody either I think, by law. He might go into

residential care. He will be strongly advocated for.

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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #24)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 10:27 PM

25. He needs help...but if anyone can be saved...it is a 9 year old...do we know it was done on

purpose?

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #25)

Thu Oct 10, 2019, 12:35 AM

30. He was accused, now charged. So the DA has some reason to think he or she committed an intentional

act. A month ago, in Illinois, a 9 year old was charged with killing his mother, but judge dismissed charges, finding child incompetent to stand trial because of his age.

Not at all likely this case will be tried. If it were to be, probably before a juvenile judge, no public trial, and no outcome possible but probation supervision which will give this child the opportunity for lots of professional help.

According to news stories, authorities will not say if the people who died were his family.

A terrible thing for all. Average 9 year olds have the capacity to understand death is final. Does not mean this child was a 9 year old who had that capacity or that he or she could form intent. I do know that 9 year olds are capable of murder, torture, heinous acts. If such a child shows signs that in an adult would suggest sociopathy, rehabilitation can be a real challenge.

I am sorry for the victims. One was a baby. In the end, the child, through being put into the juvenile system, will stand the best chance to be helped, and due to age, will not be exposed to
hardened criminals, adolescent rapists, hopefully, not a bad placement in the community down the line. Must be supervised for a minimum of five years, but not past the age of 21.

It is not at all common for a child to be charged with first degree murder. I will eat my hat if these charges stick.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 03:25 AM

2. It's a child and no child should be charged with murder, how stupid have we gotten in the CJ system?

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Response to NotHardly (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 04:00 AM

5. I agree

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Response to NotHardly (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 06:48 AM

6. Are you suggesting that a nine year old is incapable of understanding...

... that if they stab someone in the neck or set them on fire that they will probably die (permanently?)

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Response to Baconator (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 01:49 PM

13. I think a lot of nine year olds may not have the judgment to

distinguish what they think or hope will happen from what will likely happen. They may have unrealistic ideas about what happens with a knife is thrust into the body, based on TV, cartoons, fantasy.

From WebMD:
Your 9-year-old might seem to drift off like he’s “in a daze” or “in another world.” But the world he’s in is a new and interesting one. He begins to understand about being liked and seeking approval. He also will start to show he knows right from wrong and understands rules.

She’ll probably start to tell you about her feelings and emotions. She might even surprise you by using slang and repeating things her friends said at school.

Snip

At 9, hanging out with friends may begin to be a big deal -- boys will be more likely to want to be with other boys, and girls with other girls.

They also may change the way they play: Boys may be outside more often and be more physical, though the girls can be right there getting sweaty with them, and both boys and girls might get more interested in board games.

Most 9-year-olds are in fourth grade. Their writing is usually neater by this point. They can connect letters, write letters of the same size, and write in a straight line without lines on a page.

Snip


It's questionable, at the very least.

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Response to Baconator (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 08:34 PM

19. Yes that is what I am saying...they are not capable of understanding...and no child should be tried

for murder.

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Response to NotHardly (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 12:36 PM

11. Ok...what do you do with him?



Would you take him into your house to rehabilitate him for 5 or so years?

Anything but a 'yes' to that question and you're a hypocrite...sorry.

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Response to Fix The Stupid (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 03:46 PM

15. Moral and logical absolutism are both inherently flawed.

"Anything but a 'yes' to that question and you're a hypocrite"
As are logical fallacies inherently flawed (in your case, a great combo-platter of the illicit minor/existential fallacy).

Fix the stupid, indeed...

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 10:28 PM

26. +1000

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 10:33 PM

28. +1

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Response to Fix The Stupid (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 08:36 PM

20. That is ridiculous...he need massive psychotherapy...a hospital.

Trying a child for murder is stupid.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 07:21 AM

7. Outrageous. this kid needs counseling and psychiatric attention.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 08:13 AM

8. A nine year old can certainly understand death.

My grandfather died when I was 8, I remember it well and understood at the time.

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Response to TNNurse (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 08:37 PM

21. Hind sight is 2020...my brother almost drowned and I did not understand the finality of it...I was

11.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 09:28 AM

9. How did they prove intent for first degree murder?

Did the kid confess or some witness saw it?

Kids these days....

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 10:13 AM

10. Fuck the carceral state.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 12:49 PM

12. Disturbing On Many Levels

I'm very curious as to the facts of this case. Any person, let alone a kid, has to be pretty ill to intend to burn up five people. I, too, would like to know how they think they can prove intent. Although I do believe that intent is possible for some kids that age, I think intent might not be the same as adult intent.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 03:23 PM

14. You can't charge a nine-year-old child with murder. A nine-year-old by definition is not fully

capable of understanding the repercussions of their actions. I certainly didn't.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 07:15 PM

16. This brought to mind those murderous children movies

...that seemed to peak in the 70's and 80's.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 07:31 PM

17. Not a word of sympathy about the victims from most.

Why am I not surprised.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #17)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 08:45 PM

22. Charging this kid with murder is a bad idea...has nothing to do with victims...we live in

hang them high country and it needs to stop. This is a very sick kid...if you are not going to provide psychiatric help...then put the kid against the wall and shoot him...it would be kinder than locking up a child who can't understand fully for life...throw him away.

Did you know Ann Perry a famous British author and her teenage friend murdered the teenage friend's mother when they were 15...she was going to move and the friends did not want to be separated...Both girls were found guilty,incarcerate and released five years after the murder... Our laws are way to harsh IMHO.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #22)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 09:18 PM

23. Damn right he is sick.

So he should be committed to a mental hospital until he is 18. Then he can be reevaluated.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #23)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 10:29 PM

27. I don't disagree...there are juvenile facilities...

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #17)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 10:35 PM

29. I'm Sorry Dead Person For You Having Died...

6 months ago. Ok, with that straw man out of the way; charging a nine-year old with murder is asinine.

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Response to MicaelS (Reply #17)

Thu Oct 10, 2019, 07:36 AM

31. Including you




but I'm sure your finger wagging makes you feel better.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 10, 2019, 10:14 AM

32. A lot of kids don't understand how quickly fire can get out of control

I’ve known friends who accidentally started fires, folks who weren’t intending to start a home on fire

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