NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Cody Cashion, the New Albany teenager who pleaded guilty to starting a fire that killed three young children earlier this year has been sentenced.
Cashion pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and one count of arson in July, admitting he fired a flare gun into a home on Ealy Street in New Albany in January, setting it ablaze. Four young children were inside:
Judge Susan Orth sentenced Cashion to 65 years on each murder charge, and 50 years for the arson charge. Sentences will run concurrently.
Cashion was offered the plea deal in May, and had until August to accept it.
During Monday's proceedings, the children's grandmother, Marie Clark, was called to testify. Clark told the court that she had always been a big part of her grandchildren's life, and became emotional when asked about the fire. Clark talked about about Taty'Ana's injuries and said losing her siblings has been hard on her, both emotionally and physically.
Saying a life sentence has already been imposed on the family, Marie Clark asked Judge Susan Orth to give Cashion the maximum sentence allowable.
"It's not right, it's not fair," Clark said. They were innocent babies.
Clark says Cashion knew people lived in the house when he shot the flare gun into it.
"I wouldn't wish this pain on nobody," Clark said. "I would not wish this on my worst enemy if I had one."
Before issuing the sentence, Judge Orth gave Cashion one final opportunity to address the court.
"I'm sorry," Cashion said.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steve Owen pointed out that Cashion has long criminal history. "We had acts of violence at a very young age," Owen said.
Owen told the court that Cashion stole a car and tried to run over a Clarksville police officer shortly after the fire. Owen then began talking about the terror the children must have felt the night of the fire when they awoke to find the house in flames.
"They were murdered but they were murdered in an extreme sense," Owen said.
Whether or not Cashion targeted the children, Owen said, "There was evil intent."
Cashion's attorney asked the court to consider his age and the fact that he took the plea deal and saved the state and family from going through a trial.
As Clark and other members of the victims' family left the courthouse they had a heated encounter with someone identified as a friend of Cashion's.
Sheriff's deputies quickly separated everyone.
Both families declined to speak on camera.
Three other people were also involved in the case: Shelby Makowsky, who has already been sentenced to 20 years for her role in the crime; Kylie Jenks, who will be sentenced in about three weeks; and a juvenile. The case against the juvenile in the case has already been settled.
Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.