Dad guilty of killing three children in house fire

NEW ORLEANS, LA – A New Orleans courtroom was the site of emotional turmoil on Thursday as Joseph Washington pled guilty to murdering his three children in an arson house fire last year. Washington admitted his guilt of first-degree murder, and his conviction will lead to a full-life prison sentence.

Following his plea, a woman related to the deceased children attacked Washington. The confrontation soon escalated as other relatives joined the assault. Court authorities intervened and restored order promptly, but not before making one arrest.

Washington was spared a potential death penalty following a resolution with prosecutors. His plea agreement testifies to his guilt in setting his ex-wife’s house, where the children were, on fire in October in what has been termed by Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick as a “horrific” act of domestic violence.

Authorities affirm that the arson resulted in the death of three children – a 3-year-old boy, a 5-year-old girl, and an 8-year-old boy. Police records include a disturbing 911 phone call from the children’s mother, claiming that their father planned to burn down the house.

The mother was not home when the fire occurred. Shortly after her emergency call, the fire was reported.