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Fed Judge Rules Out Death Penalty in Cleveland Arson that Killed 9

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Citing mentally disabled issues, a federal judge in Cleveland has taken the death penalty off the table in an upcoming trial of a man accused in the arson death of eight children and one adult, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. ruled last week that a low IQ and a history of cognitive and behavioral problems was enough to put the kabosh on capital punishment in the case against Antun Lewis, 27, who faces trial on Jan. 5, the Plain Dealer reported.

Lewis was charged with breaking into a multi-family home at about 3 a.m. on May 21, 2005, and pouring gasoline on the floor before lighting it ablaze, the paper reported. The group of children were at the house for a sleepover.

Lewis had insisted he is innocent.


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