Teen indicted for killing mom - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Teen indicted for killing mom

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Investigators say Ray was angry because his mother would not let him see his girlfriend. Investigators say Ray was angry because his mother would not let him see his girlfriend.
The fire started on a stairway and trapped Wallace on the second floor of the residence, according to officials. The fire started on a stairway and trapped Wallace on the second floor of the residence, according to officials.
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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) -A Shelby County Grand Jury indicted a 15-year-old on charges of first-degree murder stemming from a fire earlier this year in which his mother was killed.

Investigators arrested Jonathan Ray after his family's Hickory Hill home caught fire in April. His mother, Gwendolyn Wallace, died in the fire.

The fire started on a stairway and trapped Wallace on the second floor of the residence, according to officials.

"I'm not going to abandon my child, because I'm not that type of parent he needs help," said stepfather James Wallace the day of the fire. "[Gwendolyn] was my soul mate, my best friend."

But the best efforts of the teenager's family to save Ray did not sway a judge who transferred him to adult court. He is being held at Jail East where juveniles charged as adults go.

Investigators say Ray was angry because his mother would not let him see his girlfriend. They say he set the bottom of the stair case on fire trapping his mother upstairs.

District Attorney Amy Weirich says the case could be resolved before it goes to trial.

"Oftentimes cases are disposed of long before they get to the third stage because of work that goes on behind the scenes with prosecutors and defense attorneys," she said.

The jury indicted him on charges of premeditated first-degree murder and first-degree murder during the perpetration of aggravated arson. Both charges carry a sentence of up to life in prison without parole.

Juveniles are not eligible for the death penalty. A court date has not yet been set.

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