GOODFIELD, Ill. - A nine-year-old from Illinois is facing five counts of murder linked to a deadly mobile home fire, as well as a charge of arson.
"I have compassion for him because in my own heart, I really can't see a nine-year-old would intentionally want to harm somebody," neighbor Marie Chockley said.
The Woodford County states attorney officially filed charges against the child.
The charges come six months after the deadly blaze in the Timberline mobile park community in Goodfield, Illinois.
Marie and Rodney Chockley were home at the time, saying their granddaughter was the first to hear the sirens.
"We saw fire trucks we heard axes we heard saws. Huge flame was going up in the air," Marie Chockley said.
All that is left on the mobile home site is cement.
"It was very shocking and disbelief that this happened to one of our neighbors," said Rodney Chockley.
At the time of the fire, seven people were inside the home and only two survived.
Right now, because of the child's age, his identity is being withheld... including any possible connection to the five victims.
The child is also being charged with two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson.
Many in the area are still comprehending the charges, saying it's a difficult process for everyone involved.
"I'm just praying for mercy over this, and for him to be able to get help, and to have a second chance in life, and that this won't affect him for the rest of his life. You know, he is a child," Marie Chockley added.
If convicted, the nine-year-old could be placed on probation for at least five years, or until he turns 21.
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