New York Daily News:- A 9-year-old boy charged with five counts of murder for the mobile home fire that claimed the lives of several of his family members is slated to be evaluated by a Chicago-area childhood trauma expert, who will determine whether he is able to stand trial.
“Based on my interaction and conversation with (the boy), as well as his age, I have a bona fide doubt as to his fitness to stand trial,” his court-appointed attorney, Peter Dluski, wrote in a motion filed before the holiday.
The boy, identified by his mother as Kyle Alwood, was charged in October for the killer blaze, which broke out the night of April 6 at a residence in Timberline Mobile Home Park. Everyone inside the trailer was sleeping at the time, so only the young suspect, and his mother, Katie Alwood, escaped alive.
Victims of the fire included Katie Alwood’s two other children – Kyle’s half siblings – 2-year-old Daeman Wall and 1-year-old Ariel Wall; her 69-year-old grandmother, Kathryn Murphy, her fiancé, 34-year-old Jason Wall; and her 2-year-old niece, Rose Wall.
He is currently staying with relatives, as a suspect under the age of 10 cannot be detained under state law. His mother lost custody of him in wake of the fire and state officials are working to determine whether his father is an able guardian.
Dluski in his filing this week questioned whether the boy understood the charges and the consequences of his actions, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In seeking out a professional for evaluation, he wrote that “knowledge and understanding of the charge, the proceedings, the consequences of a plea,” his “ability to observe, recollect and relate occurrences” as well as “social behavior and abilities, orientation as to time and place” are all worth considering before making the boy stand trial.
During his initial appearance in October, a juvenile court judge was forced to define words and break down the charges for the young suspect.