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Court to review evidence in case charging boy with murder in 2019 Goodfield fire

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EUREKA — A discharge hearing is scheduled for August to review evidence in a case charging a 12-year-old boy with murder and arson in a 2019 fatal fire in Goodfield.

Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger submitted Friday a motion to allow evidence of other acts, which the court will rule on separately from, but on the same day as, the discharge hearing scheduled for Aug. 12.

Minger presented evidence through testimony in February from the boy’s family members and a sheriff’s detective accusing the boy of igniting at least three other fires before the fatal one that killed five people April 6, 2019.

Kathryn Murray, 69; Jason Wall, 34; Rose Alwood, 2; Damien Wall, 2; and Ariel Wall, 1, were pronounced dead at the scene, a mobile home at Timberline Trailer Court.

The boy, who was 9 years old at the time of the fatal fire, is charged with five counts of murder, two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson.

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Crosses with flags, flowers and stuffed animals serve as a memorial Thursday, April 18, 2019, to five people who died during a late-night fire April 6 at 14 Cypress Court in the Timberline Trailer Court, north of Goodfield. 

Judge Charles Feeney previously granted a motion to allow evidence of other acts pertaining to three fires the boy is accused of igniting in 2016 and 2018, as well as a motion to allow the boy’s previous statements.

The pending motion admitted Friday is connected to a separate fire that occurred in September 2021, Minger has said.

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This April 18, 2019, file photo shows what was left after an April 6 fire destroyed a mobile home at 14 Cypress Court in the Timberline Trailer Court, north of Goodfield.

Evidence of other acts will be presented in the discharge hearing, which requires the state to prove the sufficiency of evidence.

The boy was found unfit last year to stand trial. He is residing with relatives of his father and has not attended any recent hearings. The judge ruled last month that the boy does not need to attend hearings before trial.

If the court rules there is sufficient evidence in the case, then it would allow the boy to continue with treatment to attain fitness for trial.

Watch now: New evidence to be weighed in Bloomington man's 1999 murder conviction