HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) The trial is getting underway for a Hutchinson teenager charged as an adult with setting a fire that killed his mother and sister.
The Hutchinson News reports that attorneys will begin picking the jurors Monday who will hear the case against 17-year-old Samuel Vonachen. He was 14 in September 2013 when he is accused of using gasoline to ignite his family’s Hutchinson home, killing 11-year-old sister Audrey Vonachen and their mother, 47-year-old Karla Jo Vonachen. His father escaped.
Filings in the case show that his defense will be that he suffers from a “mental disease or defect” that prevented him from forming the intent or premeditation necessary for conviction.
Opening statements and testimony are expected to begin Tuesday. Ten days have been set aside for the trial.