Mom gets 8 months in jail after autistic son dies in fire

North Carolina

ELKIN, N.C. (AP) — A woman has been sentenced to eight months in jail and three years probation after her autistic teenage son died in a house fire.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported Wednesday that Maria Deneane Kidd had entered what is known as an Alford plea to involuntary manslaughter.

Such a plea means that a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that prosecutors likely have enough evidence for a conviction.

Her son, William Kidd, 13, died in January 2018 in a house in Elkin.

Clark Fischer, Maria Kidd’s attorney, said the involuntary manslaughter charge stemmed from the fact that the house was extremely cluttered, making it a fire hazard.

A search warrant said that firefighters encountered personal items that blocked exits from the house’s living room, where William’s body was found.

Fischer said the fire started in an oil heater in the living room.

Fischer said there could be no greater punishment for Kidd than the loss of her child that “she loved very much and had worked hard to help him with all his difficulties.”

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