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.
A quick traffic note. MoDOT is closing 170 between 70 and 270 until 3PM on Monday.
They are giving Ameren crews time to restring power lines over the interstate. Drivers are encouraged to use 70 or 270 as a detour.
The call for sandbaggers at Portage Des Sioux had been answered.
St. Charles County officials say no additional volunteers are needed. KTRS's Michael Golde was at the scene earlier today and said that within an hour of the request for help on Monday morning, the number of sandbaggers nearly doubled.
Officials say the situation could change, it is unknown how long work on the sandbagging will continue.