Crime

York County teen accused of setting fire that killed toddler brother seeks bond

Jacob Morgan reacts in court during a preliminary hearing earlier this month. He is charged with murder and arson in the March 6 fire that killed his 14-month-old brother.
Jacob Morgan reacts in court during a preliminary hearing earlier this month. He is charged with murder and arson in the March 6 fire that killed his 14-month-old brother. Herald file

The York County teen jailed for more than two months after he was accused of intentionally setting a fire that left his toddler brother dead is scheduled for a bond hearing Wednesday, according to court officials.

Jacob Morgan, 17, is charged with murder and arson in connection with the March 6 fire that killed 14-month-old Joshua Hill. Morgan was arrested a few days after the fire when he confessed after a long interrogation by a State Law Enforcement Division agent.

His lawyer, 16th Circuit Deputy Public Defender B.J. Barrowclough, has said that police did not test a space heater as a potential cause of the fire and that Morgan, with cognitive problems, was badgered into a coerced confession that was not recorded.

Morgan’s family has said he has autism, can barely read and write, and would never intentionally harm his brother.

His family and lawyer want him released on bond pending trial.

But prosecutors say Morgan had a history with fire and that he admitted his involvement in the crime. They are expected to oppose bond.

Morgan has been jailed since his March 9 arrest. Wednesday’s hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

Go to heraldonline.com for updates from the courtroom.

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