Two boys were charged for the murder of two firefighters after investigation revealed they started the fire in the library in California in which the fire officials died on duty, police said.
Officials found the boys, both 13, running from the Porterville City Library shortly after the building was engulfed in fire on February 18. Two counts of murder with special circumstances and arson was filed by the Tulare County District Attorney's Office on Friday.
Two firefighters die
The charges came days after firefighters Patrick Jones, 25, and Raymond Figueroa, 35, were killed in the deadly fires that gutted the building. Reports suggest the building built in 1953 did not have sprinklers for fire safety.
Reports suggest the boys have denied the allegations and are in jail. They are scheduled to appear at a juvenile court on March 11. Unlike laws in New York, children under 14 can not be tried as adults in California even if the case they are involved in are serious and violent felonies such as murder.
Juveniles tried as adults in Tessa Majors murder
The incident took place days after two 14-year-old boys were charged for the murder of Barnard College student, Tessa Majors, who was fatally stabbed in a robbery a few blocks away from her school.
Luchiano Lewis was charged in Criminal Court in Manhattan with second-degree murder and robbery. His friend, Rashaun Weaver, was also arrested on the same charges over the weekend, according to reports.
Both were charged as adults due to the severity of the crime and the international coverage of the incident. According to the New York State law, prosecutors said defendants as young as 14 can be tried as adults in certain violent crime cases. The arrests came months after a 13-year-old was charged with the felony murder of Tessa Majors. His trial was held at a family court, the Washington Post reported.
Majors was stabbed on December 11, 2019, when she was walking through Morningside Park, blocks away from her college. A security guard found her bleeding at the top of the staircase, and emergency services were called. She was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital, where she was pronounced dead.