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Detective: Boy blamed grandma for fatal fire

Detective: Boy blamed grandma for fatal fire

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IOWA CITY  — A detective has testified that a 6-year-old boy told him his grandmother set a Coralville fire that killed a 14-year-old boy.

The detective testified Wednesday at a hearing held to determine whether the child is competent to testify during the trial of Lillie Williams. Williams, of Coralville, is accused of setting the fire that killed her son’s cousin last September. She’s charged with first-degree murder.  

Williams has pleaded not guilty.

The detective, Jeff Barkhoff, says the boy started talking about his grandmother and the fire while Barkhoff was taking the boy to Hiawatha for an interview. Barkhoff also testified that the boy said he was told to lie about what happened.

Another hearing will be held before a judge rules on whether the boy can testify at the trial.

 

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