JOLIET, Ill. — Two teens have pleaded not guilty to murder charges in connection with the June deaths of two women and an infant girl in a Joliet fire.
The (Joliet) Herald-News reports that Joliet 18-year-olds Manuel A. Escamilla and Eric J. Raya entered the pleas Thursday at their arraignment in Will County court. They are charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and arson.
Prosecutors accuse them and a third, 17-year-old co-defendant of firing a flare gun at the home, resulting in the deadly fire. Victims included 28-year-old Regina L. Rogers, her 11-month-old daughter Royalty Rogers and 29-year-old Jaquetta A. Rogers. Authorities say the three wanted to kill someone else living at the home who escaped unharmed.
The 17-year-old defendant previously pleaded not guilty. Raya’s attorney says they’re waiting to determine the case’s merits.
Information from: The Herald-News, http://www.theherald-news.com/