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Tag: Antun Lewis

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.

Ohio Feds Seek Death Penalty in One of Cleveland’s Deadliest Fires

clevelandBy Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors in Ohio are taking the unusual step and seeking the federal death penalty against a convicted drug dealer accused of setting off one of the deadliest fires in Cleveland’s history, according to the Associated Press.

Federal authorities are taking aim at Antun Lewis, 26, who is accused of breaking into the three-story home on May 21, 2005, of Medeia Carter, 33, and pouring gasoline on the first floor while her son was having a sleepover for his 14th birthday, the AP reported. The fire killed Carter and eight children between the ages of 7 to 15 including her son.

Prosecutors said the fact the rented home was paid for with federal Section 8 money allowed them to seek the federal death penalty, AP reported. Atty. General Eric Holder Jr. gave the final approval. The defense,which insists Lewis is innocent and would never have harmed the family, wants the Justice Department to reverse that decision.

Trial is set for Sept. 1.

Very few have ever been executed under the federal death penalty. One of the last three people who have been put to death in a federal case included Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh, who died by lethal injection on June 11, 2001.

Most federal death penalty cases involve the killing of a federal agent, interstate kidnapping, international drug rings or terrorism, AP reported.

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