Man sentenced in Metro East fire that killed 4 children - KMOV.com

Man sentenced in Metro East fire that killed 4 children

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By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks
Derrick Twardoski, 33, is accused of deliberately starting a fire that killed (from L to R) Landon Owen, 5, Brandon Owen, 5, Kailey Owen, 9, and Ethan Owen, 12. By Belo Content KMOV Derrick Twardoski, 33, is accused of deliberately starting a fire that killed (from L to R) Landon Owen, 5, Brandon Owen, 5, Kailey Owen, 9, and Ethan Owen, 12. By Belo Content KMOV
By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer
By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks
By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty to setting a house fire last year in southwestern Illinois that killed four children has been sentenced to 53 years in prison.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that 34-year-old Derrick Twardoski was sentenced Friday — two months after he and Randolph County prosecutors reached an agreement that called for him to plead guilty to one of the four counts of first-degree murder.

Authorities say Twardoski set the fire in the village of Percy in May 2013. Four children — 5-year-old twins and a 9- and 12-year-old — who were sleeping upstairs were killed.

The victims' parents and a brother and cousin who were sleeping downstairs or in the basement escaped. Fire and heavy smoke prevented them from reaching the other children.

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