Mother of teen charged in children’s deaths says he didn’t start fire
Kylie Jenks (left) and Shelby Makowsky (right)
The three children killed in the New Albany house fire.
Cashion and another juvenile are facing charges of attempted murder for a collision with a Clarksville police officer.
Tat'yana Hughes attended the Texas Roadhouse event.
NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - Court documents indicate that friends of Cody Cashion, 18, have
implicated him in the house fire that killed three young children in New
Albany two months ago. But Cashion's mother claims her son's other friends will swear he wasn't there.
Cashion's mother, Sally Reed, insists a half-dozen friends will swear he was with them, asleep, for six hourson January 4. The same time frame police and prosecutors allege Cashion shot the flare that started the New Albany house fire that severely burned 5-year-old Tatyana Hughes and killed her 4-year-old brother and her two sisters, ages 6 and 2.
"He was in tears! He was upset," Reed said Thursday. "He's scared to death, because he knows he didn't do that."
Police and prosecutors allege Cashion had targeted a brother of a friend whose house the Hughes family was visiting. But Reed claims her son's friends, Shelby Makowsky, 18, Kylie Jenks, 19, a juvenile girl and others - whom she won't name - have steered blame to him to spare themselves. Makowsky, Jenks and the juvenile are charged with conspiracy to commit arson in connection the house fire. Cashion is facing three counts of murder.
"He feels that they're out to get him, because of his past as a juvenile," Reed said.
As an adult, Cashion had already racked up charges of theft. When New Albany authorities turned suspicions toward him four days after the fire Cashion and another juvenile were facing charges of attempted murder for a collision with a Clarksville police officer. Police allege Cashion struck the officer's cruiser head-on, trying to dodge an arrest for drunken driving.
"The police came to me, asking about flares after that wreck," Reed said. "But I didn't know why. Cody's done wrong, but he wouldn't do something like this. He's a fighter. If he was angry about something, he'd come at you face-to-face."
Reed wants Tat'yana's family to know her heart goes out to them.
"I can't begin to understand what they're going through," Reed said. "But two families are hurting. I know, and I'd be the first to tell you if I thought he had something to do with it. But Cody didn't do this."
"At this point, they all was involved to me," Tat'yana's mother,Theresa Hughes, said Thursday evening. Hughes and her daughter were at Texas Roadhouse in Clarksville, which was donating a percentage of its dinner receipts to help defray costs of Tat'yana's treatment and her siblings' funerals.
Six days after being released from a more than two months' hospitalization in Indianapolis Tat'yana had dressings on her arms and a brace on her lower right leg.
"She's healing, a lot faster than I thought," Hughes said. "She's itching a lot. You know. And itching is a good thing because that 's signs of healing."
But neither she nor her daughter appear braced for the emotional scars that criminal trials will reopen.
"We're not ready," Hughes said. "For them to open up the case, it's gonna hurt."
Cashion is in protective custody within the Floyd County Jail.
"I'm confident that the truth will come out, because I feel that somebody is lying to save their own butt," Reed said. "But he feels they're trying to nail him to the wall."