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WJBD - Local News - Case Being Built Against Man Charged With Deaths of Four Children in Percy House Fire

Case Being Built Against Man Charged With Deaths of Four Children in Percy House Fire

(Percy, IL)  --  The man accused of setting a fire that killed four children in southern Illinois apparently made an ominous comment just hours before the blaze broke out.  

Bar owner Rick Hepp tells KMOV-TV suspect Derrick Twardoski thought someone had stolen a computer from him, and said he would, quote, "burn their stuff down and kill everyone of them."  

Randolph County State's Attorney Jeremy Walker says tips like this one have helped move their investigation forward.

"A big part of our case is going to be the good samaritans or the good people that overheard this man perhaps elaborating on his intentions," said Walker.  

Derrick Twardoski pleaded not guilty Monday to four counts of murder.   A Randolph County judge ordered him jailed without bond and assigned him to be represented by a public defender.

The victims of the deadly fire were laid to rest Tuesday.  

Court records indicate Twardoski has a lengthy court record, including convictions in Clinton County in 1999 for mob action and battery.  He has convictions in St. Clair County for criminal trespassing, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, burglary, fighting, driving under the influence and various other traffic offenses. 

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