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Kansas teen waives hearing in fatal house fire

Published on -9/30/2013, 3:17 PM

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) -- A 14-year-old Hutchinson boy will remain in custody for now as he faces two counts of first-degree murder in a house fire that killed his mother and 11-year-old sister.

Reno County District Attorney Keith Schroeder said Monday the teen waived his right to detention hearing, so no court proceedings are now planned. He will remain jailed at the Reno County Youth Services Detention Facility.

The teen was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his mother and his sister, as well as a charge of attempted murder of his father, who escaped the blaze without injury. He was also charged with aggravated arson.

Schroeder said he plans to file a motion later seeking to try the youth as an adult. Unless the court grants that request, all proceedings in the case will remain closed. He declined to discuss a possible motive.

The fire that engulfed the two-story house started early Thursday. The youth was not at the scene when firefighters arrived, Schroeder said, but returned to the house hours later.

The first floor of the house was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, and investigators later found accelerant had been poured around several rooms on that floor. His 47-year old mother and his younger sister were found in a second-floor bedroom. Both died later at separate hospitals.

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