Petersburg 7-year-old will not face charges in sister’s death

Posted at 12:40 PM, Feb 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-09 06:29:52-05

PETERSBURG, VA (WTVR) – A 7-year-old whose parents said he started a deadly fire at their trailer home in Petersburg will not face charges.

Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Cassandra Conover made the announcement Wednesday.

The boy’s parents said he set Monday’s fire because voices told him to do so.

Two-year old Shea Shea Yates died from burns and smoke inhalation she suffered in the blaze.

Cecil Yates said he tried multiple times to save his daughter, but that he smoke and flames were just too much.

Firefighters found little Shea Shea dead in her bedroom early Monday morning. Cecil said that the fire burned down the trailer in just 6 minutes.

Cecil and Shea’s mother Wendy Peatree said that the fire was a preventable tragedy.

The couple’s 7-year-old son has admitted to police that he started the fire with a lighter and a blanket. They also said that this behavior is part of a pattern.

“We’ve tried to get our son help,” said Peatree. “He’s set fire to our neighbors trailer a few months ago, on Christmas night he left in the middle of the night  and rode his bike up 460 for four miles.”

“He also has been cruel to animals and killed them,” claimed Peatree.

According to the couple, their son is getting help at Tuckers Mental Institution.