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Juvenile Justice

Boy, 10, Freed in Fatal Arson; ‘A Victim’

Posted Oct 1, 2007 4:24 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A 10-year-old boy who is accused of having set an Ohio fire that killed five people, including his mother, has been ordered released to his maternal grandmother's custody.

The boy's mother died in the fire along with his 8-year-old sister and three other children, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. Hence, in addition to being accused of the crime, the boy is "also a victim,'' says Darke County Juvenile Judge Michael McClurg.

Police say that the boy admitted setting the fire in Greenville, a city of 13,000 in western Ohio, but didn't intend that anyone would be killed. His attorney says the boy denies the charges and was pressured during questioning by police.

The judge in the case has created controversy by ordering news media not to publish the boy's name, because he is a juvenile. It has already been widely reported, and the Associated Press is challenging the alleged prior restraint on the freedom of the press.

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