CINCINNATI – A man accused of fatally stabbing his wife and killing their four children in a house fire was released from a hospital Wednesday and taken to court to face murder charges.
Michel Veillette was treated for stab wounds and other injuries after he was found outside the family's burning two-story home in suburban Mason on Friday night.
After his release from a hospital, he was taken to municipal court for a brief appearance at which he told the judge he didn't have an attorney yet. Judge Andrew Batsche set a hearing for Jan. 22 for Veillette, 34, and he was taken to jail.
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Authorities allege Veillette stabbed his wife, Nadya Ferrari-Veillette, 33, and set the fire that killed the children. Ferrari-Veillette and one child, who authorities said apparently died of smoke inhalation, were dead at the scene.
Hamilton County Coroner O'dell Owens said Wednesday the other three children also died from smoke inhalation. He said their bodies had some injuries from the fire's heat, but there were no stab wounds or signs of physical assault.
Veillette, a native of Canada, is charged with aggravated murder, murder and aggravated arson. A grand jury is expected to decide whether the case qualifies for the death penalty.
The children were identified as Marguerite, 8, Vincent, 4, and 3-year-old twins, Mia and Jacob. Relatives plan bury the family in Canada, Owens said.
Veillette has been described as a self-employed engineer who traveled often. The family had lived less than two years in the custom-built home in an upscale neighborhood in Mason, some 20 miles northeast of Cincinnati.
Fire officials have said an accelerant was used in the fire and that a gas can was found in the home's second story, but that they were still investigating.