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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Authorities charge teens with killing relatives

Saturday, April 19, 2003

BROCKTON, Mass. -- Two teenagers were charged with the arson deaths of two family members in an alleged plot to collect insurance money and gain freedom so that one of the suspects could move in with her boyfriend.

At first, 17-year-old Frances Choy and her 16-year-old nephew Kenneth Choy drew praise for calmly reporting the fire and for waiting patiently to be rescued from second-floor windows.

But authorities said the stories of the teenagers quickly unraveled after state police dogs discovered accelerant on the floor of the bedroom where the victims Ching "Jimmy" Choy and Anne Trinh-Choy slept.

Accelerant was also found on Anne Trinh-Choy's pajamas.

Authorities said the victims -- the parents of Frances Choy and grandparents of Kenneth -- were "burned alive" and that gasoline containers were found around the house.

On Friday, a day after the blaze, a judge ordered the teens held without bail.

Automatic innocent pleas were entered in Brockton District Court on behalf of both defendants on the murder charges. An innocent plea was also entered for Frances Choy on an arson charge; Kenneth Choy faced an arson charge at a closed hearing in juvenile court.

Both Frances and Kenneth Choy initially denied knowing anything about the cause of the fire, but in a later interview Kenneth Choy allegedly acknowledged filling containers with gasoline, authorities said.

"Kenneth Choy said she wanted to 'get her freedom from her father, who she stated was a tyrant,"' Assistant District Attorney Frank Middleton Jr. said.

Kenneth Choy said his aunt wanted money and to live with her boyfriend, Middleton said. He was also allegedly promised $10,000 from insurance money.

Frances Choy's attorney, Joseph Krowski, described Kenneth's accounts as "some pretty self-serving statements" and said he would not "presume that these statements are accurate."


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