9-year-old arraigned on murder, arson charges in deaths of 5

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EUREKA, Ill. (AP) – A 9-year-old central Illinois boy believed to have set a fire that led to the deaths of five family members has been arraigned on first-degree murder charges.

The Journal Star in Peoria reports Woodford County Circuit Court Judge Charles Feeney on Monday read a juvenile petition citing the murder charges, along with arson counts.

Feeney explained the juvenile counts and legal processes to the boy, who at times indicated he did not understand. The boy appeared to sob before being taken out of the courtroom by his paternal grandparents.

Feeney appointed a public defender for the boy.

The April 6 fire killed a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds, a 34-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman at a mobile home park about 150 miles (240 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

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