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Man sets girlfriend, his nephew on fire, killing child, according to fire marshal’s office

Derwin Hamilton
Derwin Hamilton(Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal)
Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 2:00 PM CDT
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ST. MARY PARISH, La. (WAFB) - A man is facing murder and attempted murder charges after setting his girlfriend and his nephew on fire, resulting in the child’s death, according to the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal.

Derwin Hamilton, 49, of Franklin, has been booked into the St. Mary Parish Jail on second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges.

Officials said the woman and the 5-year-old boy were taken to area hospitals. They added the child was pronounced dead at the hospital and the woman remains in critical condition. Their names have not been released. The official cause of death of the child is pending an autopsy by the St. Mary Parish Coroner’s Office.

“The ultimate danger is when fire is used to commit a crime,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, “In this instance, that crime resulted in the tragic death of an innocent child and left his guardian in critical condition. Our prayers go out to the victims’ families while we pursue justice on their behalf.”

This is the mobile home where a woman and child were set on fire.
This is the mobile home where a woman and child were set on fire.(Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal)

LOSFM said the Centerville Volunteer Fire Company, which was assisted by the Franklin Fire Department, responded to a report of a mobile home fire on Prairie Road North in the Centerville area on Tuesday, July 13, around 8 p.m. Deputy fire marshals said the firefighters found the woman and boy, both badly burned, outside of the home.

Investigators said Hamilton was also outside the home and had suffered minor burns. They added the woman was able to tell emergency responders what happened and Hamilton was detained by the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office before being taken to the hospital for his burns.

Officials said the victim told them she and Hamilton were arguing about ending their relationship when he poured a liquid on her and the child, then set them on fire. Investigators added Hamilton admitted to the crimes and was booked once he was released from the hospital.

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