Murder trial underway for man accused of setting fire that killed woman, daughter

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 2:14 PM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2023 at 9:20 PM CDT
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A mother and her daughter died in a house fire on Dobbertine Road in 2020. Marie Bourque, 39,...
A mother and her daughter died in a house fire on Dobbertine Road in 2020. Marie Bourque, 39, and her daughter, Ski Smith, 12, both died of smoke inhalation.(Family)

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - “I just wanted to burn my house down,” is the response Casey Hatch allegedly gave when asked by a nurse why he set fire to his trailer.

Two people died in that fire, and Hatch is charged with two counts of second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.

Earlier jurors heard heartbreaking 911 audio of Bourque trapped in the burning house with her children.

Bourque was in the smoke-filled house pleading for urgent help for herself and her children, saying repeatedly to the operator, “I can’t breathe!!” before her voice went silent.

Bourque and her 12-year-old daughter died on Jan. 14, 2020, in the trailer home fire on Dobertine Road - which prosecutors say Hatch set.

Jurors heard an audio recording of Hatch being interrogated by fire investigators, but for the most part, Hatch sat in silence.

When deputies and firefighters first arrived at the scene, Hatch is heard on dashcam video telling first responders there was no one inside the home. Later they would find out there were people in the house and that deputies had been misled.

Body cam video showed emergency responders frantically giving the victims CPR after bringing them from the home.

A young son survived, but 12-year-old Ski Smith could not be revived and her mother, Marie Bourque died later at the hospital.

If found not guilty by reason of insanity, Hatch will be confined to a mental facility.

Public defender King Alexander says Hatch has schizophrenia and did not know right from wrong.

Prosecutors, though, say Hatch did know what he did was wrong.

The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. Friday before Judge Robert Wyatt.