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March 18, 2014

New Albany arson murder trial still set for July

Teen accused of starting fire that killed 3 children

NEW ALBANY — Cody Cashion didn’t appear before Floyd County Judge Susan Orth on Tuesday morning, as attorneys met for a pretrial conference to discuss proceedings about four months ahead of the teenager’s triple murder trial.

Cashion, 18, is still on track to face a jury trial for the slayings of Tai’zah Hughes, 6, Trinity Hughes, 2, and Tyrese Hughes, 4, who were killed during a Jan. 4 house fire at 335 Ealy St. in New Albany.

Taty’ana Hughes, 5, survived the fire but spent weeks in the hospital recovering from her injuries before she recently returned home.

Authorities believe Cashion fired a flare gun into the Ealy Street home — without  knowledge that the children were inside — which ignited the blaze inside the home.

Floyd County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steve Owen said Tuesday they are approaching the case under the belief that Cashion will face a jury beginning July 7.

“I think we’re ready,” Owen said following the pretrial conference in Floyd Superior Court No. 1. “We certainly have to prepare to try it at that time.”

New Albany attorney George Streib has been appointed by the court as the public defender for Cashion.

A message left for Streib on Tuesday afternoon hadn’t been returned as of press time.

THE CASE

Cashion was allegedly robbed by a man who lived inside the Ealy Street house and fired the flare gun at the home out of retaliation.

Two other teenagers — Shelby Makowsky, 18, and Kylie Jenks, 19 — were subsequently arrested and charged with felony conspiracy to commit arson. The two teenagers are believed to have been with Cashion when he fired the flare at the home.

A 17-year-old also faces charges related to the fire, and Owen said that case remains in juvenile court. He added he can’t discuss the specifics of the case since it involves a juvenile.

As for the man who allegedly robbed Cashion, Owen said he hasn’t been arrested, and likely won’t be charged with a crime.

Family members of the victims, including Taty’ana Hughes, came to the courtroom Tuesday, but they mainly just met with Owen after the pretrial conference.

“I just try to keep them informed of what’s going on,” he said.

Cashion was first arrested following the fire by the Clarksville Police Department on Jan. 8, after he allegedly struck a CPD cruiser during a traffic stop.

Following his arrest, Cashion claimed he had no involvement in the New Albany house fire, but he was implicated by Jenks, Makowsky and the juvenile facing charges.

Cashion also is charged with attempted murder for striking the police car, as a CPD officer was injured during the incident.

An attorney conference is slated for April 15, and the final pretrial conference for Cashion’s triple murder case is slated for May 27. He’s also facing one count of felony arson resulting in bodily injury.

 

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