Illinois man receives 53-year prison sentence

CHESTER - A southwestern Illinois man who pleaded guilty to setting a house fire last year that killed four children has been sentenced to 53 years behind bars.

Derrick Twardoski, 34, received his sentence Friday.  Two months ago Twardoski reached an agreement with Randolph County prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to one of the four counts of first-degree murder he was facing.

According to authorities, Twardoski set the fire in Percy, Illinois in May 2013.  A 12-year-old, nine-year-old, and 5-year-old twins who were sleeping in the home were killed.  However, their parents, a brother, and a cousin were able to escape.  Authorities say fire and heavy smoke prevented the relatives from reaching the children.
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