Oct. 24--A 16-year-old tied his parents' bedroom door shut before he set their Liberty Twp. home on fire Wednesday, according to investigators.
The teen, a junior at Lakota West High School, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and one charge of aggravated arson, both first-degree felonies, said Sgt. Monte Mayer of Butler County Sheriff's Office.
Investigators found "a blueprint to commit murder" in the fire-damage residence, according to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.
The honor-roll student with no prior known criminal background, was "very angry" with his parents with what appeared to be usual parenting rules of telling the teen what he could and couldn't do, according to Jones.
Written documents, described as sketches, outlining the plan are now part of the evidence against the teen. The sheriff said the investigation is ongoing to determine if there were additional targets.
Because of the teen's age and the level of offense, the case is a mandatory bind over to adult court if a juvenile judge finds probable case following a hearing, according to Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.
Around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, fire crews were dispatched to 7126 Tarragon Court on reports of a house fire, said Liberty Twp. Fire Chief Paul Stumpf.
"En route we were advised one patient (a man) jumped out of a window," Stumpf said. "Another person was sticking their head out a window."
Butler County Sheriff's deputies found homeowner Perry Simon, 50, outside of the house, where he had jumped from the second-story window. He sustained broken legs, according to a sheriff's department report.
Sharon Simon, 56, escaped her second-story bedroom with help of Liberty Twp. fire crews. She sustained minor smoke inhalation. Both were treated at West Chester Hospital.
Perry and Sharon Simon reportedly told police their son was inside the home, but a search of the residence turned up empty. Sharon Simon then noticed her husband's Buick was missing from the driveway. She called her son, who said he had taken it, according to a sheriff's report.
The teen allegedly left the scene and went to his girlfriend's residence, but returned home and was interviewed by sheriff's investigators, according to Lt. Mike Craft.
The teen, whose name this newspaper isn't releasing, was arrested about 4 a.m. and booked into the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center. He was arraigned Thursday morning in Butler County Juvenile Court, where no plea was not entered. He will receive a court-appointed attorney before his next court hearing.
A pre-trial hearing has been set for 10 a.m. Nov. 5 before Judge Ronald Craft. Until that date, the teen will be housed in the detention center.
Officials say there is evidence that an accelerant was used to start the fire. Stumpf said fire was started in two separate spots of an upstairs hallway.
"What we got here is a 16-year-old male who had extensive plans of killing his parents," Jones said. "He tied the bedroom door closed to where they couldn't get out the door."
Mutual aid was received by West Chester and Fairfield townships. Stumpf said the fire only caused about $2,500 in damages to the home inside the Welbourne Manor subdivision.
"It was a small fire but smoky; it was easily knocked down," Stumpf said.
Two dogs inside the garage were safely removed. No other injuries were reported.
Neighbor Beth Stamp, who said she has lived in the neighborhood for three years, said the news was "very troublesome" to hear.
"It devastates me," Stamp said. "He must have been really troubled. It makes me very sad."
Another neighbor, Bob Bunton, who said he has lived in the neighborhood for seven years, said the events took him by surprise, too.
"It's life, but I'm surprised it went on in this neighborhood, because it's a quiet neighborhood," Bunton said.
Staff writer Lot Tan contributed to this report.
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