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2nd juvenile charged in fire that burned special needs boy in Kerrville

A second juvenile has been arrested in connection with a gasoline-fueled fire earlier this month that severely burned a special needs boy in Kerrville.

Police arrested the first juvenile three days after incident at a shed in a lot in west San Antonio on Oct. 2 and charged him with first-degree arson. The second juvenile was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with second-degree arson for his role, fire officials said.

Kayden Culp, 10, was burned over 20 percent of his body and airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio where he remained in a drug-induced coma until Tuesday.

“He’s in and out” of consciousness, Kayden’s father, Bobby Hatchett, told the San Antonio Express-News this week. He said when the boy awoke, he asked if he was dying.

He also told the Express-News that his son’s version of events will come out “as soon as he’s able to talk coherently.”

At a news conference on Oct. 5, Kerrville Police Chief David Knight said that a preliminary investigation indicated that Kayden was in the shed on a vacant lot with three other boys and they started a fire. One of the boys poured gas on the flames to make them grow, causing a flash fire that burned Kayden, he said.

Kayden’s family blamed the incident on bullying and said the boy was intentionally harmed.

The family of the first arrested boy blamed it on horseplay and said it was a regrettable accident.

Kerrville Fire Chief Dannie Smith said Thursday that the boys have been charged with arson because they intentionally set the fire on property that wasn’t theirs. But he said it didn’t appear that it was premeditated “or that there was any intent to do bodily harm any of the juveniles present.”

Asked if there could be more arrests, he said: “We’re not ruling anything out at this point. We have an active investigation that’s ongoing.”

The second boy arrested in the case has been processed and transferred to the juvenile detention center, the fire marshal said in a news release.

The names of the juveniles are not being released because they’re both under age 18.

Smith and Knight disclosed the results of the preliminary investigation in the Oct. 5 news conference. This is from KENS5:

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