- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois man faces up to six decades in prison after admitting his role in a house fire last year that killed four children.

Derrick Twardoski, 34, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Randolph County to one of four counts of first-degree murder he had faced in connection with the deadly blaze in Percy, a village about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. He’s to be sentenced Oct. 3.

Prosecutors have not disclosed Twardoski’s possible motivations in setting the fire early May 10 of last year that killed siblings ages 12 and 9 years, and 5-year-old twins. Those victims’ parents and another child escaped.

“Certainly we are pleased to secure a conviction in this case,” Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy Walker said, noting that prosecutors agreed to resolve the case without a trial only with the blessings of the victims’ family “to avoid the heartbreak and reliving the tragic events.”

“A big factor in the decision of the family was to avoid at least three juveniles from having to testify at trial and to avoid the horrific crime scene photographs being viewed by family members and friends,” Walker said.

Twardoski remains jailed without bond.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide