Boy charged in fatal fire to be evaluated by expert

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This photo taken April 7, 2019, shows a fence and caution tape surrounding a trailer home that was destroyed by fire in the Timberline Mobile Home Park northeast of Goodfield. A prosecutor says a central Illinois 9-year-old will be charged with five counts of first-degree murder in connection with a mobile home fire that killed five people. (Matt Dayhoff/Journal Star via AP)

ILLINOIS (AP) — A 9-year-old boy charged in a central Illinois fire that killed five people will be evaluated by a child trauma expert to determine if he’s fit to stand trial.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the boy’s attorney, Peter Dluski, said in a recent court filing that he has doubts about the child’s fitness to stand trial.

The boy was charged with murder and arson in an April fire in Goodfield that killed four relatives and his mother’s boyfriend.

His next court hearing is in February. Charging a young child with murder is unusual, something that juvenile justice experts criticize.

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