FRANKLIN, La. (KLFY) — A Franklin man is behind bars after he allegedly set his girlfriend and young nephew on fire Tuesday, leading to the nephew’s death.
Derwin Hamilton, 49, of Franklin, faces one charge of second-degree murder and one charge of attempted second-degree murder, according to the La. State Fire Marshal’s Office (LSFMO).
LSFMO Public Affairs Director Ashley Rodrigue said investigators learned that Hamilton and the girlfriend were arguing about ending their relationship at around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13. Hamilton allegedly poured a liquid on the girlfriend and his five-year-old great-nephew, setting them both on fire. When first responders from the Centerville Volunteer Fire Department and Franklin Fire Department arrived on the scene in the 400 block of Prairie Road North, they found both victims badly burned.
Both were taken to local hospitals where the child was pronounced dead and the woman remains in critical condition. The identification and official cause of death of the child is pending an autopsy by the St. Mary Parish Coroner’s Office.
Hamilton was found outside the mobile home with minor burn injuries. He later admitted to the crimes, according to Rodrigue.
“The ultimate danger is when fire is used to commit a crime,” said State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning, “In this instance, that crime resulted in the tragic death of an innocent child and left his guardian in critical condition. Our prayers go out to the victims’ families while we pursue justice on their behalf.”