Grand Rapids Man Arrested For Negligence In Fire That Killed Family
A father of three was arrested in connection with a fire that wound up killing his children and their mom.
According to WOOD, 38-year-old Robert Scales is looking at 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter in death of wife and kids from a fire that was started behind the house in early February.
Scales said he was at work at the time of the fire but police became suspicious when they learned about at personal protection order that was filed by his wife when he allegedly threatened to murder her by burning down the house with the kids inside.
Apparently Scales and his wife had serious problems for a long time. WOOD asked Scales at a vigil for the family if he had anything to do with the fire and Scales reply was "no comment."
According to Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker, Scales is looking at 15 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Apparently there was not enough evidence to charge him with murder.
Basically the prosecutor and detectives could not prove his intent regardless of his previous threat. Bottom line, they needed more evidence that this was premeditated and it just wasn't there.
There has been any official word from the Fire Department regarding the cause of fire but sources have told WOOD that the fire started in a trash can behind the home.
Scales is current in the Kent County jail and will see a judge Thursday or Friday in court.
The mother, 35-year-old Wanedia Scales, the children, 15-year-old Xavier Woldeab, 14-year-old Robert Scales and 10-year-old Elijah Scales all were victims of the blaze.