People have been intrigued for weeks, since Bellaire Police announced their suspect in the fire that burned down a duplex was a five-year-old boy.
Now the Belmont County prosecutor has announced his decision in that case.
Prosecutor Dan Fry says he will not file criminal charges.
First of all, Fry says you couldn’t prove criminal intent with a person that young.
And second, the defendant wouldn’t understand what was happening.
“I personally don’t believe that a five-year-old could comprehend that they’re in court,” said Dan Fry. “That they may face incarceration, that they have an attorney, what all of this stuff means. And if you can’t participate in your trial–knowingly participate in your trial and understand the process–whether you’re a minor or an adult, we simply can’t try you.”
He says the incident won’t be dropped, however.
Fry says it’s likely that the authorities will reach out to the parents–not to punish them but to help them–perhaps with counseling or whatever is needed regarding parenting issues.