A judge will decide later this month if the Liberty Township teen accused of setting a fire to kill his parents will be tried as an adult.
Mitchell Simon, a 16-year-old junior honor student at Lakota West High School, is charged with two counts of attempted murder and a single count of aggravated arson in the Oct. 23 incident.
Butler County Juvenile Court Judge Ronald Craft Tuesday ordered a probable cause hearing in the matter at 2 p.m. Nov. 26.
Simon’s attorney, Brad Kraemer, requested a competency hearing and a change of venue in the case, both of which will also be considered at that time.
The judge granted supervised visitation between Simon and his parents, Perry and Sharon Simon, both of whom attended Tuesday’s hearing.
Sharon Simon tearfully embraced her son while Perry Simon, who was in a wheelchair due to injuries sustained from the blaze, held his son’s hand and consoled him.
“Despite all of the efforts to portray him otherwise, he’s a scared little kid,” Kraemer told reporters. “It gets worse every day that he sits in detention. It becomes more and more scary every day.”
Prosecutors say Simon, who was angry over some sort of discipline imposed by his parents, intentionally set two fires in the second floor hallway of his Tarragon Court home in front of the separate bedrooms in which his parents slept.
Simon tied the bedroom doors shut so that his parents couldn’t escape, according to police.
When Liberty Township firefighters arrived on the scene, Sharon Simon, 56, was hanging from the windowsill on the second floor. Perry Simon, 50, made the life-or-death decision to jump and suffered a broken ankle.
Authorities say the teen left in his mother’s car after setting the blaze but later returned to the scene and confessed.
Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones said Simon mapped out a detailed plan on how he was going to kill his parents. The teen has no known psychological problems or prior criminal record, he said.
Simon is being held at the county juvenile detention center pending the Nov. 26 hearing.
In a separate incident, a second Butler County teen — a 14-year-old foster child — has also been charged with attempted murder in a house fire.
Butler County sheriff’s officials said the boy, who was a foster care placement from Franklin County, set a house fire Oct. 30 at his Wayne Township home. He’s facing five counts of attempted murder, aggravated arson and domestic violence.
Sheila McLaughlin contributed to this story