A friend of the family is speaking out after two children were killed in a house fire allegedly set by former tenants. Meagan Bellus believes that the female suspect wanted revenge against the children's mother, Jessica Starr. “She will hold a grudge and she will snap,” she tells People.
The suspect in question, Kim Hughes, is facing murder and arson charges in the fire that killed 8-year-old Rose and 6-year-old Xavier. Jaramy Chism is also suspected in the incident.
According to the Associated Press, the fire killed the two children and injured three adults (Starr, her boyfriend and a friend named Bryan Bachofer) in Mount Vernon, Washington. The suspects had lived at the home where the arson occurred but were evicted days earlier. At that point, Hughes allegedly threatened to burn the house down.
Bellus tells People that Hughes took to Facebook to air her grievances about being evicted. “She posted on Facebook something like, ‘How do you get back at people now that you don’t have liability?’” Bellus says. “Her last post was, ‘being homeless sucks.’”
In 2014, Hughes was convicted of second-degree arson when she reportedly set her ex-boyfriend's clothes on fire (in a laundry basket) because he cheated on her. Others were in the home at the time.
According to the Public Defender's Office, both suspects deny the allegations. A judge set bail for the suspects at $2 million each.