Reporting Brad Edwards
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GARY, Ind. (CBS) – Charges have been filed in the fatal fire that killed a mother and her teen daughter last week in Gary.
Fire officials said the July 25 fire that killed Bernice King, 33, and her 14-year-old daughter, Angel Harris, was started in a hallway with a flammable substance outside the victims’ Lakeshore Dunes apartment.
Trevontay Milsap and Rafael Peluyera , both of Lake Station, Ind., were charged with murder, murder in the perpetration of arson and four counts of arson. One of the suspects reportedly was in the hospital Thursday.
Police say the two suspects were upset with an Xbox-for-weed exchange with King’s son. A court affidavit shows that immediately before her death, King was terrified.
“It’s feels terrible. It makes you really wonder what we’re teaching our children,” Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said at a news conference to announce the charges. “You’re going to take that measure over a bag of marijuana — it just shows you we have a lot to teach.”
Five others, including a firefighter, were hurt in the fire at 5805 Kennedy Terrace. Four of King’s surviving children were treated for smoke inhalation and were expected to recover.
The injured firefighter was treated and released at a local hospital.
Deputy Fire Chief Daryl Smith said he was disgusted by the crime.
“I just makes me think, just where we are today,” he said.