Prosecutors mull charges in Newton Street apartment fire

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said his office is considering charges against one of the 10-year-old girls responsible for last month's fire on Newton Street. Juvenile Prosecutor Jennifer DeLand is reviewing police interviews with the two girls, Leffler said.
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said his office is considering charges against one of the 10-year-old girls responsible for last month’s fire on Newton Street.

Juvenile Prosecutor Jennifer DeLand is reviewing police interviews with the two girls, Leffler said.

“I’m not sure where she’s at with that,” he said about DeLand, who was in court and unavailable for comment Friday afternoon.

One of the girls lives in the same Newton Street apartment complex where the Sept. 21 fire happened. The other girl is a Baker Street resident.

A state fire marshal’s investigator ruled the blaze an arson in late September. About that same time, detectives with the Norwalk Police Department finished their investigation and gave the case to Leffler’s office.

Chief Kevin Cashen said Friday the girls could be charged with juvenile delinquency and/or aggravated arson because the apartment complex was occupied. It’s unknown how many people were there when the fire started.

“(With the girls) being only 10, that would be up to the prosecutor,” Cashen said about possible charges.

As of late last month, the chief hoped the girls would get the “help they need” to avoid similar situations in the future.

The girls, during an interview after the fire, said they were riding their bicycles on Newton Street when they saw the blaze and rode to the one girl’s Baker Street home.

The Baker Street mother later said her daughter used a photograph to point to the exact area of an empty Newton Street apartment in which they were playing. The girl accused her friend of finding a blue lighter and starting the fire.

“They (police) had reports they saw two little girls ... running out of the building. Shortly after that, the fire started,” the mother said.

There were no injuries in the blaze that remained in one unit and caused about $20,000 worth of damage.

Comments

If I was the Ba...

I would have ratted out my friend, too. Sounds like one little girl is full of the dickens, the other went along for the ride, and it scared her so she ratted her out. They need to 'nip it in the bud' now on the Newton Terrace girl. She's headed for a life of crime and destruction unless she's straightened out now. But they are only 10, there's still time, right?

Renee (Anonymous)

You know it is pretty sad when parents don't watch their children. That is who to blame... Get off your a** and be a mother!!!

Cc (Anonymous)

I agree...its like with all these shootings.. if the parents would act like parents and recognize the signs or watch thier children like they should be doing.. maybe alot of this stuff would be prevented.

concerned (Anon...

maybe the parents were not as attentive as they should be but i can tell from experience you can be on the ball and kids can still pull things on you. i do think also think that cashen, leffler and anyone else that think prosecuting these girls is the answer should think again. these kids are calling out for help in their young lives. usually when kids start getting in to trouble they are feeling a need for something. attention, encourgement, love. i realize that somekind of discipline should happen but not the kind of prosection i have seen in the past out of this office. once they start on a kid they almost never let go, they continue to find anything and everything they can to dog them. and once a kid gets into somekind of trouble be it minor or not the police NEVER give up on finding fault with them. so i feel sorry for these girls or anyone else who has lost their way in this town.

pi4life (Anonymous)

i agree, i don't think the kids should be prosecuted, but i think the kids need ths S**t scared out of them. The problem now adays is that parents can't displine their children without fear of reprocussions from authorities. i was in walmart the other day and there was 3 or 4 year old boy just terriorizing the store, so the mother smacked him on the bottom. It wasn't hard, just enough to get his attention. I watched and heard a store employee come up to this young lady and tell her if she did that again she would be calling the authorities. So you can blame it on the parents to a certain extent but you also have to blame society for becoming to soft and gentle.

sarge (Anonymous)

send the little punks to bootcamp!!!!!!!!!!!!