Juvenile charged in fatal Trumann fire - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Juvenile charged in fatal Trumann fire

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - An arrest has been made in the fatal duplex fire in Trumann that killed 13-month-old Blake Pierce, and injured his twin brother, Drake and 3-year-old brother Robert.

Friday afternoon, the 17-year-old babysitter was arrested and charged with the death of the infant. The suspect is currently behind bars in Washington County, where police said he fled to Springdale, Arkansas after multiple attempts at bringing him in for an interview.

Trumann Police then issued a warrant for his arrest, and Springdale Police arrested him Friday.

The fire happened on January 27th. Blake Pierce died from smoke inhalation. His brothers Drake and Robert suffered smoke inhalation as well. Fire investigators said the fire started when a mattress caught fire in the bedroom.

Trumann Police Chief, Chad Henson said the juvenile was a suspect from the get-go.

"Several things that the investigators and the fire marshals recovered at the scene, his statements originally, after the fire, and several statements from the witnesses after the fire, even months after the fire, led him to be one of the prime suspects," Henson said.

Henson said there was never any foul play suspected.

"Just negligence from the beginning," Henson said. "Of what they were doing inside that house has led to his eventual charge and arrest."

Henson said, they believe illegal things were going on inside the duplex. Which led to the Negligent Homicide charge.

"Officers found drug paraphernalia inside and also several statements have come out that drug paraphernalia and drug use were going on inside the house," he said.

The juvenile, whose name is not being released because of his age, will also be charged with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Minor. Henson said they do plan on charging him as an adult.

Trumann Police plan on leaving Saturday, June 2, to Northwest Arkansas to extradite the juvenile back to Region 8.

A probable cause hearing will then be set within the next 72 hours.

Region 8 News will continue to track this story and bring you the latest details as they occur.

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