A 9-year-old boy was arraigned Monday on charges of murdering five relatives in an Illinois mobile home fire, a report said.
Kyle Alwood appeared confused at times during the half-hour hearing and quietly cried at its conclusion, before being escorted out by his grandparents, who are caring for him, according to The Journal Star.
The child is facing five counts of first-degree murder for allegedly setting the April 6 blaze in Goodfield that killed three kids and two adults – ranging in age from 1 to 69 years old.
After the blaze broke out, the boy ran next door to the home of his maternal grandparents and shrieked, “The house is on fire! Help!” the report said.
The boy’s 28-year-old mother, Katrina Alwood, who survived the blaze, has backed her son.
“Everyone is looking at him like he’s some kind of monster, but that’s not who he is,” she told CBS News earlier this month.
“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.”
Kyle is due back in court on Nov. 22. Because of his age, he cannot be held in custody between hearings.
He will also avoid incarceration if convicted. He could, however, face probation, therapy and counseling, the report said.