A Reno County judge has delayed a decision on a 14-year-old Hutchinson boy’s request to bar public access to court proceedings over the arson deaths of his mother and younger sister.
The teen is charged with first-degree murder in the two deaths and the attempted murder of his father in the Sept. 26 fire at the family’s home. The state is seeking to prosecute him as an adult.
Judge Patricia Macke Dick put off her ruling after a hearing Tuesday on a defense motion for an order to close hearings, seal the court record and impose a gag order.
Reno County District Attorney Keith Schroeder says the judge took the matter under advisement after The Hutchinson News intervened with a motion seeking to keep the proceedings open.
A 14-year-old Hutchinson boy has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with a house fire that killed his mother and 11-year-old sister.
Reno County District Attorney Keith Schroeder charged the boy Friday as a juvenile but says he’ll seek to try the teen as an adult.
Schroeder told The Wichita Eagle the boy was not at the house when the fire broke out early Thursday but returned several hours later.
Authorities had said they suspected arson in the blaze that engulfed the two-story house. Schroeder says an accelerant was poured in several first-floor rooms.
The mother and sister were found in an upstairs bedroom and died later. The boy is also charged with the attempted murder of his father, who escaped the fire without injury.
Investigators are working to determine the cause of a fatal house fire in Hutchinson.
The Hutchinson News reports the fire occurred Thursday and the identities of the residents and victim haven’t been released.
Fire Chief Kim Forbes says officials are expected to release more information about the fire later Friday.