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Percy arson suspect is expected in court today

updated: 5/13/2013 10:19 AM

A 33-year-old man facing murder charges related to a southern Illinois house fire that killed four children is to make his first court appearance.
Randolph County prosecutors charged Derrick Twardoski on Friday with four first-degree murder counts linked to the blaze early that day in Percy, a village 60 miles southeast of St. Louis.
State's Attorney Jeremy Walker says he doesn't consider the fire random, though he's declined to detail what led investigators to Twardoski or any relationship he may have had with the victims.
Authorities say the dead included siblings ages 12, 9, and 5-year-old twins. A 6-year-old child was treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation, and the children's parents and an 18-year-old woman escaped the fire.
Twardoski is jailed without bond, pending his first court appearance this morning.
Percy Mayor Mark Prange and Assembly of God Pastor Steve Duncan set up a fund to help the Owen family. The fund is at First National bank of Steeleville where donations can be made in care of the Owen Family Benefit Fund.

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