Boy, 9 , sobs in court as he stands on trial accused of murdering his family

He's accused of killing five relatives
CBS News

A nine-year-old boy sobbed in court as he stood on trial, facing charges of murdering his family.

Kyle Alwood from Eureka, Illinois, who is accused of killing five relatives in a house fire, had to ask his lawyer to explain words to him.

So small, the youngster could barely be seen from his chair during the hearing.

As he struggled to understand the court proceedings, Chicago Tribune reported that Judge Charles Feeney asked him, ‘What don’t you understand?’

The child replied, ‘What I did.’

Feeney then paused to explain various legal terms in the charging documents, including explaining to Kyle what ‘alleged’ means.

At another point, his lawyer interrupted saying the boy wanted to know what the word ‘arson’ meant, leaving Feeney to say, ‘You knowingly set a fire.’

Kyle Alwood accused of killing Rose Alwood, Dameon Wall and Ariel Wall
Kyle Alwood accused of killing Rose Alwood, Dameon Wall and Ariel Wall (Credit:

Kyle is accused of deliberately setting his family’s trailer home on fire in April this year, which killed his two-year-old half-brother, Daemeon Wall, one-year-old half-sister, Ariel Wall, and two-year-old cousin, Rose Alwood.

His stepdad Jason Wall, 34, and Wall’s grandma, Kathryn Murray, 69, also died.

Kyle is on trial for murdering all five, who died from smoke inhalation.

After the hearing closed, the young boy was seen left court sobbing with his arms folded. News9 reported Kyle’s grandfather accompanied him to court.

His fate will be decided by a judge, rather than a jury. Kyle’s pre-trial hearing will continue on November 22.

Kathryn Murray and Jason Wall.
Kathryn Murray and Jason Wall. (Credit:

If Kyle is convicted, he won’t be sent to prison and is likely to face five years’ probation.

Speaking out about her son, mum Katie Alwood told CBS News she forgives him, ‘Everyone is looking at him like he’s some kind of monster, but that’s not who he is. People make mistake, and that’s what this is.

‘Yes, it was a horrible tragedy, but it’s not something to throw his life away over.’

Prosecutor Greg Minger was quoted in The Metro saying, ‘It’s a tragedy, but at the end of the day it’s charging a very young person with one of the most serious crimes we have.

‘But I just think it needs to be done at this point, for finality.’

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