LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Two boys, ages 12 and 14, will face charges in juvenile court after allegedly starting a fire that killed two people and destroyed an apartment building.
FOX31’s Rob Low has been following this case since the fire happened on Oct. 31 at the Tiffany Square Apartments. The boys were arrested on Nov. 6 and four days later the district attorney announced that they would each face 100 counts including charges of murder, arson and criminal mischief.
During a court hearing in early November, prosecutors said the boys had been living illegally at the Tiffany Square apartments. When they were kicked out, they allegedly returned to the complex at 935 Sheridan Blvd. for revenge.
Investigators said they have surveillance video that shows the two boys setting the complex on fire with a Molotov cocktail, or similar device, and then walking away. The video then allegedly shows the two boys coming back and doing something to make the fire even bigger.
Both boys have criminal histories, according to prosecutors. The 12-year-old had a warrant for menacing charges and the 14-year-old had a history of weapon use and severe substance abuse.
Friday, more than a month after the arrests, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office told Rob Low that a decision had been made to keep the case in juvenile court rather than charge the suspects as adults.
In Colorado, the longest sentence a juvenile can face for any crime is seven years, meaning the 12-year-old suspect could be released at age 19 and the 14-year-old at age 21.
The fire killed two people, a mother and daughter identified as 31-year-old Kathleen Payton and 10-year-old daughter Jazmine Payton-Aguayo.
Family members heard that the two got trapped in the bathroom when the fire broke out.
“I think the hardest thing for me to fathom is what they went through. If they were alive and being stuck and trapped in there, not being able to get out, it’s just devastating and I’m just hoping that they didn’t suffer,” Janelle Camacho, a relative, said.
The boys’ identities have not been released because of their ages, and because the case is remaining in the juvenile system it is expected to remain that way.