9-year-old charged for Goodfield fire appears in court, could get at least 5 years probation

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EUREKA, Ill. — The 9-year-old boy charged for the Goodfield mobile home fire that killed five people back in April was arraigned in court Monday.

Woodford County Judge Charles Feeney took Kyle Alwood through the charges against him, which included murder and arson charges. Due to Alwood’s age, Feeney had to explain the legal processes and certain words to the boy, including “arson” and “alleged.”

The boy could face a minimum of five years of probation until the age of 21. Counseling services and mental health evaluations would also be likely. Once he turns 13 and does not do anything to re-offend, Alwood would not face any kind of incarceration.

Feeney also appointed Peter Dluski as public defender for Alwood.

Since the charges were filed, Kyle’s mother Katrina Alwood, who also survived the fire, spoke out publicly about her son allegedly starting the fire.

The fire took the lives of five people; Woodford County Coroner Tim Ruestman previously said the victims died from carbon monoxide intoxication. Ruestman said 69-year-old Kathryn Murray, 34-year-old Jason Wall, 2-year-old Damien Wall, 2-year-old Rose Alwood and 1-year-old Ariel Wall died in the blaze.

After an investigation by the Woodford County Sheriff’s Office, Woodford County Coroner, Eureka Goodfield Fire Department, Illinois State Police and the Office of the Fire Marshall and Woodford County States Attorney, officials said they believe the fire was intentionally started. The incident was ruled as a homicide nearly two weeks into investigating.

Due to Alwood’s age, he cannot be held in custody.

It was also confirmed on Monday that the Department of Child and Family Services requested a gag order to be placed on all parties involved.

State’s Attorney Greg Minger confirmed a gag order has been placed on all parties, which was requested by the Department of Child and Family Services. Minger also said he has a 9-year-old child and he finds the situation to be “difficult.”

Alwood went through the arraignment without crying until the end, when he left the courtroom with his foster guardians, who are his father’s parents.

The next hearing has been set for Nov. 22. Minger also said he will be filing more motions for the case between now and then.

LIVE: The 9-year-old charged with the deaths of five people in the Goodfiled mobile home fire made his first appearance in Woodford County Court this morning. WMBD’s Ali Reid and Shaun Newell are there with the latest.

Posted by WMBD on Monday, October 21, 2019

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