A 12 year old boy and his 10 year old sister have been accused of starting a fire around their mother’s bed, but have suggested that they got the idea from watching a Tom & Jerry cartoon.
The children allegedly poured an accelerant around the perimeter of her bed, while the mother her boyfriend were fast asleep. They lit the fire and the mother, Tenesha Beard, awoke in time to realize the danger, but could not wake up her boyfriend, Jermaine Westbrook. Westbrook was rescued but only after suffering smoke inhalation and third degree burns over half of his body.
The mother originally tried to convince police that she had started the fire, but the children have been taken into custody and charged with two counts each of first degree assault.
The mother and boyfriend had left the children with an uncle as they attended a party. They came home and promptly went to bed. The kids were watching cartoons at 4:30 in the morning and from that got the idea of pouring a ring of what is thought to have been gasoline around the bed.
Westbrook remains in critical condition.