Triple fatal New Albany fire ruled arson, suspect charged - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Triple fatal New Albany fire ruled arson, suspect charged

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Cody Cashion Cody Cashion
Trinity Hughes Trinity Hughes
Tyrese Hughes Tyrese Hughes
Tai'zah Hughes Tai'zah Hughes
Taty'ana Hughes Taty'ana Hughes

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – New Albany Police say the fire that killed three children on the morning of January 4 was a case of arson.

Chief Sherri Knight said Cody Cashion, 18, is charged with three counts of murder while committing arson and one count of arson resulting in serious bodily injury.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson says Cashion fired a flare gun into the New Albany home trying to get back against someone who lived here. Police say that person wasn't even home, but that action led to the felony murder of three young children.

The children were with their mother visiting a friend on Ealy Street.

"It's a new level of pain when you find out your babies died this way," said Marie Clark, victims' grandmother.

Clark is the grandmother of  Trinity Hughes, 2, Tyrese Hughes, 4, and Tai'zah Hughes, 6. She buried her grandchildren believing they died in a tragic accident.

"It's hurtful, more hurtful than anything in the world because now we have something else that we have to mourn and grieve, not only that we lost them, but they were literally taken away from us for no apparent reason," said Clark.

On Tuesday Cashion was charged with three counts of felony murder and arson. Investigators believe Cashion drove past the house on Ealy Street and shot a flare gun that landed inside the room where the children were sleeping.

"We have no indication that he believed the house was occupied or that there were children inside," said Henderson.

Henderson says this all started after what he calls a property dispute. "As we look at this case today we believe it was in retaliation to that particular individual who was not there at the time, but a motive of retaliation," said Henderson.

Clark says she has no idea what led to this and says she has never heard the name Cody Cashion before.

"Who is he? And I wish I never had to now," said Clark.

Mary Ann Rickards spent a lot of time with the children at a neighborhood recreation center. It's hard for her to understand why. "Three lives are gone, because somebody had a grudge over a property dispute," said Rickards. "People don't have any thoughts about life now. That's wrong with this world."

A fourth child, Taty'ana Hughes, 5, was rescued by firefighters. She is recovering from burns at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Cashion was arrested by Clarksville police on January 8 after the SUV he and a juvenile were in struck a Clarksville police car and injuring an officer. The crash happened while officers were trying to stop the SUV.

The cause of the fire was originally ruled as combustible items that were placed too close to a space heater.

Cashion continues to be held in the Clark County Jail.

The Floyd County prosecutor would not say how many people were in the car with Cashion, but did say another juvenile is involved and more charges could come. 

We will continue to follow developments in this breaking story on air, online at wave3.com and on mobile with the free WAVE 3 News mobile app.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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