Family Died in House Fire and Now Husband is Charged
We first heard it on the news, and our hearts broke about a deadly house fire in Grand Rapids where a mother, 3-sons and 2-dogs died. Fire officials said it appeared that there were no working smoke detectors. The father was at work at the time. Tragic! Even more tragic, now the father has been charged with manslaughter in their deaths.
How can this be? What could have happened? What caused it all?
Fox17 reports that police took Robert Scales into custody yesterday after the Kent County Prosecutor's Office authorized 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter against the 38-year-old. Each count is a felony, with a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
There had been a tale of family trouble,with Scales wife, Wanedia taking out a personal protection order against Scales. Sadly, that didn't help, and now, he is accused of setting the fire at the family's home on February 5. Dead were Scales wife Wanedia and her 15-year-old son Xavier Woldeab. 13-year-old Robert Scales Jr and 9-year-old Elijah Scales who were taken to Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, but died shortly after.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said they could not prove Scales intended to kill his wife and children in the fire, which is why there are no murder charges.
Becker also said the investigation took a long time to look at everything completely.
Becker said, “It has to be based on fact and what the law is. I think that’s what we’ve done in this case. I’m not trying to take a stand for anything or anybody. It’s what the law and the facts have shown us, that these are the appropriate charges."