TW: mentions of death & fire. The mother of a 9-year-old charged with five counts of first degree murder has spoken out this week for the first time since the incident occurred. According to Chicago CBS Local, investigators say the child purposely set fire to his family home in Eureka last April, knowing that his siblings, his great-grandmother, his mother's fiance, and her 2-year-old niece were inside, along with his mom. Despite the monumental tragedy and loss of life, Kyle Alwood's mother (the only one to escape) says that he isn't a monster like people think he is. Alwood says he simply made a mistake.
"People make mistakes," said Katie Alwood. "Yes, it was a horrible tragedy, but it's still not something to throw his life away over." Alwood's sister, the mother of one of the victims, doesn't take the same stance. "I think he should go somewhere until he's the legal age to go to juvie," said Samantha Alwood. "Then I think he should go to juvie, and then from juvie to prison because at the end of the day, whether he meant it or not, he knew what fire did."
The charges have been officially brought against the youngster just this week, some months after the fire at the Timberline Mobile Home Park near Goodfield. Woodford County State Attorney Greg Minger was careful not to reveal much about the case but did tell NBC News that he carefully considered all reports before moving forward.
"It was a heavy decision," he stated. "It's a tragedy, but at the end of the day, it's charging a very young person with one of the most serious crimes we have. I just think it needs to be done at this point, for finality." The defense will likely strive to convince the judge that Kyle Alwood didn't have premeditated notions of murder, something that the prosecution will need to prove in order to find him guilty.
Should the prosecution be successful, then the 9-year-old could face at least five years of probation, but this won't exceed the age of 21. Court-ordered counseling and therapy will also be likely.
Under Illinois law, they cannot detain Kyle as he is under 10 years old, therefore no arrest warrant has been issued.