The Ottumwa Courier

March 10, 2014

Accused arsonists to be in court April 9

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville — The two 13-year-old suspects charged with setting a fire at the Knoxville Walmart are scheduled to be in court for a pretrial conference on April 9. 

Knoxville Deputy Fire Chief Ben Truetken said the department was dispatched to Wal-Mart at 6:50 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3. There were no victims found at the time, but there were heavy smoke conditions inside the building. The fire, for the most part, had been extinguished prior to the KFD's arrival.

Items in the Home Furnishings aisle of the store were ignited, which was the cause of the fire. The building has a sprinkler system, but insufficient heat was generated to activate the sprinkler system. 

Lt. Justin Kingrey with the Marion County Sheriff's Office is the department's arson investigator, and led the investigation into the Wal-Mart fire, with the assistance of the Knoxville Police Department. 

According to an MCSO press release, officers reviewed security camera footage and with information, were led to two homes in Knoxville. Contact was made with one juvenile at each home. After interviewing the juvenile males, they were taken into custody and transported to the Eldora Juvenile Detention Center. Both have been charged with Arson-First Degree, a Class "B" Felony. 

Kyle Johnson, with Marion County Juvenile Court Services, reports that the juveniles are still in custody. The charges remain the same. They will be prosecuted jointly. 

"The matters are still pending," Johnson said. 

We'll continue to follow this case as it progresses.