Texas

Boy charged with aggravated assault in Kerrville arson case

Police tape blocks off the location where Kayden Culp was burned while playing with other children and gasoline on Oct. 2 in Kerrville.
Police tape blocks off the location where Kayden Culp was burned while playing with other children and gasoline on Oct. 2 in Kerrville. mySanAntonio.com

Authorities in Kerrville are seeking an additional charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against one of the boys accused of setting a fire that left a boy with a hearing impairment in a coma for several days with burns over 20 percent of his body.

Two boys have been charged in the case that sent Kayden Culp, 10, to the hospital with second- and third-degree burns on Oct. 2. One was charged with first-degree arson three days afterward. Authorities have forwarded a separate charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against him to the county prosecutor, they said in a statement. A second juvenile has been charged with second-degree arson.

Their names are not being released because they’re both under age 18.

Kayden Culp’s family has blamed the incident on bullying.

Police and fire officials have said that the boys started the fire in a shed on a vacant lot and that one of the boys poured gas on the flames from a container. The ensuing flashback lit the container on fire, which the boy dropped on Kayden and which led to his injuries, Police Chief David Knight said at the time.

He added, “We have no indication that there was any premeditation involved to injure this child.”

Kayden was airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio and later to Shriner Hospital for Children in Galveston, where he is recovering, his father, Bobby Hatchett, told mySanAntonio.com. Hatchett would not say what his son told him of the events of Oct. 2, other than, “He said it was intentional.”

Kerrville officials issued a statement Wednesday noting the latest charge against the juvenile and saying that the fire marshal had concluded his investigation of the case and sent his findings to the Kerr County attorney’s office for consideration.

An attorney for the 12-year-old accused of assault in the case told mySanAntonio.com that he was surprised by the additional charge, “since their own reports say it was an accident.”

The county attorney will decide where it goes from here.

Tom Uhler: 817-390-7832, @tomuh

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