Trial for man charged with killing 9 in arson fires delayed

AKRON (AP) — A judge in Ohio has delayed until early next year the start of a trial for a man who could face the death penalty if convicted of killing nine people in two arson fires.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports attorneys for 59-year-old Stanley Ford argued Friday that Ford should have separate trials for the fatal fires in his Akron neighborhood. One fire killed two adults in April 2016. The second killed two adults and five children in May 2017.

Ford’s attorneys argue that death penalty cases are not “business as usual” and say the cases are separate and distinct.

Summit County prosecutors say the arsons were part of a common scheme and that jurors should be able to distinguish between them.

Prosecutors have alleged Ford had a “beef” with neighbors.

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