Early reports were saying the kids didn’t mean to hurt anyone when they ignited the ring of gasoline they had poured around the bed their mother and her boyfriend were sleeping in, they were just mimicking a Tom and Jerry cartoon they had watched.
Their mother, 30-year-old Tanesha Beard, woke up and was able to get herself and her children out of the house unharmed but her boyfriend, 37-year-old Jermain Westbrook, wasn’t so lucky. She wasn’t able to rouse him and he had to be rescued by firefighters. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition suffering from smoke inhalation and third-degree burns to nearly half of his body.
The discussions immediately centered around cartoon violence and how this really isn’t anything new as violent media has taken the blame for the actions of children since the day violent media existed. Violent cartoons, movies and video games have often been offered as scapegoats in the news, the reason why a parent’s little angel set another kid on fire.
But it looks like this story isn’t going to be future ammo for PAMV and their ilk, as it is looking as if the mother lied about how the fire started.
Some had already called into question the mother’s story and the details surrounding the entire affair and I have a feeling investigators were too. This would explain why they charged the shit out of the two youngsters and the prosecution was moving forward. I think they were calling their mother’s bluff.
If they were, it worked. Tanesha Beard interrupted her sons’ juvenile court hearing on Friday and admitted that she was the one who had set the fire, not her boys. She was led out of the courtroom by police and was arrested on Monday. She is currently in jail on suspicion of arson and first-degree assault.
Her relatives are confirming the boys had nothing to do with setting the fire and had lied to help their mother. They say that Beard started the fire to hurt her boyfriend, and then blamed her children thinking they would escape serious punishment because of their age.Tags: Arson, cartoon, Crime, fire, Jermain Westbrook, Nebraska, Tanesha Beard, Tom and Jerry