By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
A teenager already jailed for the attempted murder of a Clarksville police officer has been accused of starting the blaze that killed three children in a house fire in New Albany on Jan. 4.
Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson confirmed during a press conference this afternoon that Cody Cashion, 18, will face triple murder charges as he allegedly shot a flare into the Ealy Street home which led to the fire. At 1 p.m. today the News and Tribune reported Cashion’s charges would be announced at the news conference.
Investigators initially believed a combustible item placed too close to a space heater led to the fire, and it appears a flare allegedly fired into the home by Cashion is what landed near the space heater and caused the spark.
Trinity Hughes, 2, Tyrese Hughes, 4, and Tai’zah Hughes, 6, died in the fire. The children didn’t live at the home, but were staying there with their mother, Theresa Hughes, who was reported to be outside the house when the fire started.
She was not injured during the blaze, but a fourth child — her daughter — received burn wounds and was transported to Indianapolis for care.
Cashion, a resident of Clay Street in New Albany, was recently charged in Clark County with class A felony attempted murder; resisting law enforcement, criminal recklessness — defendant armed with a deadly weapon, and auto theft, all class D felonies. He was also charged with class A misdemeanor battery to a law enforcement officer resulting in no injury.
The teen appeared in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 after he was arrested about 5 a.m. Jan. 8, following a collision with a Clarksville Police Department patrol car during an attempted traffic stop.
A CPD officer was in the act of pulling over a GMC Yukon occupied by Cashion and a 16-year-old boy from New Albany when the collision occurred.
The Yukon had refused to stop for an officer along Greentree Boulevard, turned into a break in the roadway’s median and struck a police vehicle as the officer attempted to assist in the traffic stop.
The collision spun the patrol car around and rolled the Yukon, which came to a stop on its side.
Cashion and the juvenile fled from the vehicle on foot, but was apprehended nearly 50 yards from the wreckage.
The CPD officer in the vehicle received treatment from University of Louisville Hospital and has since been released.
The day of the collision, CPD Chief Mark Palmer said neither teen had admitted to driving the Yukon at the time of the incident.
Cashion was formally charged with attempted murder in a Clark County court Monday.
Check back to newsandtribune.com and Wednesday’s edition of the News and Tribune for more details.