A Florida woman is facing murder charges for burning down her ex-boyfriend's home, killing his three grandsons.
Marian Evette Williams, 49, was arrested March 12 for attempted murder and three counts of murder, according to WINK, a CBS affiliate in Florida. According to the Daily Mail, she set the house ablaze somewhere around 4:30 a.m., when everyone in the house was sleeping.
Police identified the deceased as Marcus Clark, 10, Kiani Clark, 8, and Kemaren Clark, 4. Their grandfather suffered serious injuries and was still in the ICU as of March 13. A second adult reportedly escaped without injury.
According to a family member, the grandfather and Williams had been in a relationship and were fighting. Williams had allegedly previously threatened to burn down the house, and was arrested for burglarizing it the week prior, but was released from jail the day before the fatal fire.
She had been imprisoned frequently since 1991, on charges ranging from drug dealing, driving with a suspended license and felony DUI, WINK reports.
In a statement to WITI, a neighbor said: "I think it’s almost [incomprehensible] that a human being could do something like that, knowing that there were occupants in the house. Just very sad to hear that [someone], especially children, would die. It’s horrible."
The National Fire Protection Association provides relevant statistics:
During 2007-2011, an estimated 282,600 intentional fires were reported to U.S. fire departments each year, with associated annual losses of 420 civilian deaths, 1,360 civilian injuries.
Sixty-three percent of intentional structure fires occurred in residential properties, 6% occurred in storage facilities, 4% occurred in educational properties, 4% occurred in mercantile or business properties, and 3% occurred in public assembly properties.
Half (51%) of intentionally set home structure fires occurred between 3:00 p.m. and midnight. Lighters (27%) and matches (23%) were the most common heat source in intentional home fires. The most common area of origin in intentional home structure fires was the bedroom (12% of these fires). In educational properties, more than half (56%) of intentionally set structure fires began in the bathroom. In storage properties, the garage was the most common specified area of origin (24% of fires), and in mercantile or business properties the most common specified area of origin was the bathroom (8% of fires).
Citing FBI statistics, the NFPA notes that 40 percent of those arrested for arson are under 18 years old, according to recent data.
As for Marian Williams, she remains in jail without bond.