GOODFIELD – The mother of a child charged with the murder of five people in a deadly fire near this Woodford County town over six months ago told a national television network that her son has mental health issues.
Katrina Alwood told CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett in an interview aired Wednesday evening that she and her nine-year-old son, Kyle Alwood, escaped the fire at 14 Cypress Court in the Timberline Trailer Court north of the village late in the evening of April 6. The day before the interview, Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger charged him with five counts of murder, two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson, but he did not identify the child because of his age. The fire killed Alwood’s two other children, Daemeon Wall, two, and Ariel Wall, one, her grandmother, Kathryn Alwood, 69, her niece, Rose Wall, two, and her fiancé, Jason Wall, 34.
Alwood, who confirmed the surviving son is the same boy who has been charged, told the network that Kyle Alwood recently has been diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia in addition to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder. The boy is expected in court on Oct. 21. The public will not be allowed in the courtroom.
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Local officials determined the fire was set intentionally. There is no state statute that specifies the youngest age at which a youth can be charged with a crime. He will have a public defender appointed for him.
"Everyone is looking at him like he's some kind of monster, but that's not who he is," said Alwood in the interview. "People make mistakes and that's what this is. Yes, it was a horrible tragedy, but it's still not something to throw his life away over."
According to Minger, the youth would likely get probation as a result of his actions, but decided charges were in order. He declined to go into depth, as he cited juvenile privacy issues.