A 15 year old teenager has been arrested after it was determined that his house was intentionally set on fire. According to Pennsylvania state police, Trenton Greaves purposefully lit his mother’s home on fire while five family members were in the house. Though no one was killed, two of the teenager’s family members are still recovering in the burn injury unit.
The house fire at the two story home in Hickory Township was first reported at 2:30 A.M. on August 20th. Firefighters rushed to put it out, but a lot of damage was already done. 35 year old Herbert Rogers, his wife, 34 year old Rosanna Rodgers, and the couple’s 11 year old daughter were all injured in the fire. When the fire broke out, Rosanna’s sister, Melanie Clark, and her three year old niece were also present, but the sister and niece were not seriously harmed.
The Rodgers were all flown to the burn injury unit at the Pittsburgh hospital for immediate treatment. Though they are now all in a stable condition, two of the Rodgers’ family members remain in the hospital still. In addition to the burn injury victims who were human, one dog and two cats were also killed in the fire. The home has been declared uninhabitable due to all of the damage.
At 7:15 A.M. Greaves returned to the scene of the crime with another aunt. He told the police there that he had purposefully started the fire. According to the aunt, she saw Greaves walking down the road. Greaves told her that he set the house on fire, and the aunt convinced him to go to the residence with her and turn himself in.
Further interviews with the police revealed that Greaves set the fire because he felt disrespected by his family, so Greaves wanted them to die in the fire. According to the teenager, he poured gasoline in his parents and sister’s bedroom before igniting a trail of the fuel with a lighter and exiting the home.
Due to these circumstances, Greaves is going to be tried as an adult for the charges of criminal attempted homicide, aggravated arson, arson endangering persons, simple assault, aggravated assault, criminal mischief, and recklessly endangering persons. For the next few days, Greaves remained at the Lawrence County Jail in solitary confinement with a $250,000 bond.
The first preliminary hearing was scheduled for Wednesday. Though Rosanna Rodgers has been discharged from the burn injury unit, she did not appear in court. During the proceedings, Greaves waived his right to have a full preliminary hearing.
Public defender Larry Keiththen petitioned to have Greaves moved from the county jail to a juvenile detention facility, and Greaves was transferred to the Erie juvenile detention facility afterwards.
Greaves’ lawyer says that he plans to try to get the case moved to a juvenile court. Currently, a hearing is being set to determine whether or not Greaves should be tried as an adult. Greaves still faces 31 counts of criminal charges right now, and his bail remains at $250,000.