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Clearwater girl accused of setting mom on fire might be tried in March

LARGO — The 11-year-old Clearwater girl accused of setting her mother on fire appeared in juvenile court Wednesday morning and learned she has a potential trial date of March 24.

Her attorney, Roger Futerman, said the state Department of Juvenile Justice already has recommended potential sanctions for her, but he declined to disclose them.

Futerman said he is still reviewing evidence, including a silver-colored lighter with a fingerprint on it that may have been used to set the blaze. It's not yet known whose fingerprint is on the lighter.

The girl was released from the Pinellas County Juvenile Detention Center and has been staying with an aunt while awaiting trial. Although Futerman and prosecutors are preparing as if the case will go to trial, it's also possible they could negotiate a plea bargain, which happens in many adult and juvenile cases.

The girl and a 15-year-old described as her boyfriend were arrested and accused of setting fire to the home of her mother, Nancy Broadhead, as she slept in December. Broadhead, who also came to court Wednesday, will need surgery for her injuries.

Jack Ault, the 15-year-old who was charged, has pleaded guilty to arson, attempted murder and grand theft auto, and is scheduled to be sentenced in juvenile court Monday. His mother says she has been told he will likely serve about two years in a residential program for juveniles.

Clearwater girl accused of setting mom on fire might be tried in March 01/20/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 11:17am]
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