Family of New Albany fire victims gets closure with final guilty plea
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- In court on Monday afternoon, the third and final defendant in the case of a New Albany fire that killed three young children pleaded guilty.
That means everyone involved has taken ownership for the crime, but family members of these three small victims say it should have happened sooner.
19-year old Kylie Jenks was escorted to the courtroom in shackles. Inside, she took ownership for the her part in a fatal fire, but it's still too late for the victims' family.
The grandmother of the three children who were killed, Marie Clark, said “when they found out that babies died there, you know, we should have gotten an admission then."
Jenks pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson in connection with a January New Albany house fire that killed three small children and injured another.
“We are struggling from day to day with life, to try to make it," Clark said.
Jenks is the final suspect to plead guilty in the case. Shelby Makowsky was sentenced to 20 years in prison and the main suspect, Cody Cashion, pleaded guilty on Friday and faces 45 to 65 years in prison.
Clark expressed her on-going frustration, "Everybody thinks that because the case is coming to a close, the justice part of it, yeah, but the pain is not subsiding, it's not going anywhere."
Despite the guilty pleas, there have been no apologies from the people involved, but a relative did reach out to the victims' grandmother.
"He actually came up to me and told me that he was a cousin of Cody Cashion by marriage and that my family deserved an apology and he would do that on behalf of that family," Clark explained.
She says the apology seemed genuine. "He apologized to me with tears in his eyes,” Clark said. “That's the only person that has apologized to me."
Meanwhile, prosecutors are glad the case is coming to an end.
Steve Owen said, “I feel very happy that we got these pleas, that we're resolving this case so quickly. If you remember, it just started in January.”
Prosecutors say the fire started when Cashion shot a flare gun into the home, 5-year old Taty’ana Hughes is the remaining survivor and still recovering but family members wanted her in court.
“I want them to see what they did and I want her, like you said, when she gets older, I want her to know that she was there for this," Clark said.
Both Jenks and Cashion are scheduled to be sentenced in the next few months. Meanwhile, the case against a juvenile, who was involved, has also been resolved.
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