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Grandmother of southern Indiana girl who survived deadly fire wants charged teen to see her

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NEW ALBANY, Indiana — The grandmother of a southern Indiana girl who survived a fire that killed her three siblings says she wants the teenager charged with starting the blaze to see her granddaughter.

Five-year-old Tat'yana Hughes was at the Floyd County Courthouse on Tuesday, wearing a leg brace and with a small bandage on her face, less than two weeks after being released from an Indianapolis hospital where she was treated for burns from the Jan. 4 fire.

Marie Clark told reporters she came with her granddaughter on the chance of seeing 18-year-old Cody Cashion of New Albany during a pretrial hearing on the three counts of murder and one count of arson he faces. Cashion remained in jail as prosecutors and defense attorneys met privately with the judge.

"I want them to see the pain, I want them to see what they did to my family," Clark said. "I have to get justice for my babies. I have to."

Authorities say Cashion ignited the fire by shooting a flare into the New Albany house in retaliation for being robbed by a man who lived there but wasn't home at the time. Cashion has pleaded not guilty, and investigators have said they don't believe he knew children were inside the home at the time.

The fire gutted the front room where the children died, and the rest of the house in the city just north of Louisville, Kentucky, sustained extensive heat and smoke damage.

Tat'yana's three siblings — 2-year-old Trinity Hughes, 4-year-old Tyrese Hughes and 6-year-old Tai'zah Hughes — all died of smoke inhalation.

Floyd County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steve Owen said after Tuesday's conference with the judge that he was preparing for Cashion's trial to begin July 7.

Clark said she would continue coming to court hearings with her granddaughter.

"I want her to know who took her siblings from her," Clark said. "She keeps telling me she wants them back."

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