Man charged in Summit County deadly arson fires convicted on most counts


Associated Press



AKRON — A man accused of killing nine people in separate arson fires in his Akron neighborhood has been convicted of nearly all the charges he faced.

Stanley Ford, 62, faces a potential death sentence after he was found guilty Tuesday night on 26 of the 29 counts against him, including aggravated murder and aggravated arson. The sentencing phase of his trial is due to start Monday.

Ford was accused of killing a couple in 2016 and two adults and five children in 2017. Summit County prosecutors used surveillance video footage, security alarm records and the testimony of neighbors to show Ford was responsible.

Prosecutors said Ford set the fires because of disputes with his neighbors, but defense attorney Scott Rilley had argued that Ford could not be identified in the surveillance videos and added that other potential suspects were identified.

Ford’s initial trial began in March 2020. After a week of testimony and several delays, Summit County Judge Christine Croce declared a mistrial the following June at the request of Ford’s attorneys, who cited concerns about Ford’s ability to get a fair trial during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Associated Press

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