The children killed in the fire - Trinity Hughes (left), Tyrese (right) and Tai'zah (center). Source: Family photo
Tai'zah Hughes (Source: Family photo)
NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - The man accused of starting a deadly house fire with a flare gun went before a judge Tuesday morning. Cody Cashion, 18, is charged in the January 4, 2014 fire that killed three members of the Hughes family - Trinity, age 2, Tyrese, 4, and Tai'zah, 6. Their sister, Taty'ana, 5, suffered severe burns and is recovering in an Indianapolis hospital.
During his first hearing the judge entered a plea of not guilty for Cashion, granted him a public defender and ordered he will be held in the Floyd County Jail without bond.
"It's a tragic event for that family and it certainly sets an example of these kinds of cases how one senseless act can affect so many people," said Steve Owen, Floyd County Chief Deputy Prosecutor.
Police say Cashion shot a flare gun into the home because of a dispute with someone who lived there.
"He intended to commit arson against someone else and as a result of the senseless act these four little children have had their lives either taken or drastically affected," Owen said.
Cashion is facing one count of arson resulting in serious bodily injury and three counts of felony murder.
"Meaning that he intended to commit a felony and as a result of that commissioned felony a death evolved," Owen said. "He has three counts of the felony murder charge."
The felony murder charges each hold a sentence of 45 to 65 years. The arson charge holds a sentence of 20 to 50 years.
Cashion is no stranger to crime. Days before the fire he was caught trying to steal flares for a flare gun from a Walmart. Four days after the fire, Cashion was in Clark County jail for the attempted murder of a Clarksville police officer and resisting arrest.
Prosecutors say they believe other people were with Cashion when he shot the flare and are investigating them.
The next hearing for Cashion is March 18. A trial date has been set for July 7.
Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:12:13 GMT
The tattoo has not previously been seen widely by the public because cameras are not allowed inside Indiana courtrooms. The Indiana Office of the Courts released the photo on July 30 as part of evidence logged in by police and presented to the court by the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office.More >>
The tattoo has not previously been seen widely by the public because cameras are not allowed inside Indiana courtrooms. The Indiana Office of the Courts released the photo on July 30 as part of evidence logged in by police and presented to the court by the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office.