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Judge orders Derrick Twardoski to undergo mental exam

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois judge has ordered a mental evaluation of a man accused of setting a house fire that killed four children.

The mental fitness examination for 33-year-old Derrick Twardoski was requested Monday by James Kelley, his Randolph County public defender.

A hearing on the testing's outcome is scheduled for June 20.

Twardoski has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder in the May 10 deaths in Percy, a village about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. The fire killed siblings ages 12, 9 and 5-year-old twins.

The county's state's attorney, Jeremy Walker, has said he doesn't consider the fire random. Although he's declined to say why authorities suspect Twardoski set it or whether Twardoski knew anyone who lived in the home.

 

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