Support Salvation Army Wildfire Relief

Ohio judge keeps death penalty as option in Youngstown arson fire that killed 3

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio  — An Ohio judge has denied a request to remove the death penalty option for a man accused of killing a 10-year-old girl and her grandparents in a March 2015 arson fire.

Attorneys for 47-year-old Robert Seman Jr., of Green, sought to have the death penalty declared unconstitutional because of how the appeals process works. A Mahoning County judge on Friday ruled that the attorneys failed to show how the process constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

**see a previous story above**

Prosecutors say Seman set the fire in Youngstown hours before he was scheduled for trial on rape charges for allegedly sexually assaulting  the 10-year-old. A coroner said the girl and her grandparents died of smoke inhalation.

Seman's aggravated murder trial is scheduled to start in September.

You can read more about this story here.