A 9-year-old central Illinois boy was arraigned in court Monday on first-degree murder charges in connection with an April arson that killed five family members, according to reports.
Woodford County Circuit Court Judge Charles Feeney on Monday read a juvenile petition citing the murder charges against the boy, along with arson counts, Peoria’s Journal Star reported.
Feeney explained the juvenile counts and legal processes to the boy, who told the judge he didn’t understand, the Chicago Tribune added.
“What don’t you understand?” Feeney reportedly asked.
“What I did,” the boy responded.
The boy later appeared to sob before his paternal grandparents took him out of the courtroom.
Feeney appointed public defender Peter Dluski for the boy, the Journal Star reported. If found guilty, he likely will face probation because he would be too young to be sentenced to any juvenile detention center.
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 southwest of Chicago.
The boy’s next court date is scheduled for November, the Tribune added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.