Relatives of fatal fire victims pack courtroom

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KANSAS CITY, Kan.. -- A 39-year-old man will face trial for killing a woman and a 2-year-old girl here earlier this year.

Curtis Horn faces 18 criminal charges, including first-degree murder and multiple counts of child endangerment. Relatives of the victims packed a courtroom this morning to see Horn.

Horn is accused of deliberately setting fire to the Legends Oaks Apartments in February.

The fire killed 2-year-old Amiyah McClenton and her aunt, 34-year-old Brandi Johnson. Police say Horn confeseed to setting the apartment building on fire after fighting with Johnson.

In addition to murder and arson charges connected to the two deaths, Horn also faces multiple charges of child endangerment. Prosecutors say other children lived in the building and Horn put everyone at risk. Mothers were prepared to testify this morning that their children were fortunate to escape the fire.

The little girl's relatives packed the courtroom, telling FOX 4 News they want to make sure Horn is never a free man again.

"Even though they weren't able to save my niece, I'm just hoping that somebody will find justice," said Annette Peoples, Amiyah's aunt. "He will learn that he can not go around killing people, you know, and trying to cover it up too."

Relatives of the victims say they don't know Horn very well, but say if he was angry at Johnson, they can't understand why he would put so many children in danger and cause the death of an innocent 2-year-old by setting that fire.

Horn did plead not guilty to all of the charges against him. But after conferring with his lawyer, Horn decided to waive his right to a preliminary hearing. He'll be back before a judge to get ready for trial on June 7th.

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