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Elkhart woman charged in May house fire that killed 2 people

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 12:33 PM EDT
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GOSHEN, Ind. (AP/Goshen News/WNDU) – An Elkhart woman has been charged with allegedly setting a house fire in May that killed a man and an 8-year-old boy.

48-year-old Genessa Jones of Elkhart appeared for an initial hearing last Thursday, where she was formally charged with two counts of causing a death while committing arson.

According to our reporting partners at The Goshen News, the fire damaged a two-story house at 1824 Oakland Avenue on May 23. As Elkhart firefighters responded, they had first rescued a woman from the roof. They then followed the woman’s direction to find an adult, identified as Dennis Witte, and a child, identified as Nyshaun Finch, still in the house and rescued them from the situation. A firefighter had also been injured during the response.

All four were taken to the hospital for treatment. Witte and the juvenile apparently died sometime after the fire.

An Elkhart County judge entered a not-guilty plea on Jones’ behalf and appointed a public defender to represent her. Jones’ trial has been scheduled for March 21, 2022.

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