AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – A judge in Summit County sentenced Stanley Ford on 9 counts of aggravated murder Tuesday.
Ford was convicted by a jury on 22 counts of aggravated murder last month.
Ford was convicted of starting house fires on Fultz Street in Akron in 2016 and 2017.
9 people were killed in the 2 homes, including a 16-month-old baby.
A jury recommended a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
Judge Christine Croce presided over the sentencing.
Judge Croce merged the 22 aggravated murder charges, which included multiple charges for each death, to 9 aggravated murder charges.
Ford was also ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution.
Family members of the victims gave statements before the judge handed down a sentence.
“I do forgive Mr. Ford,” Durand Huggins said.
He is the brother of victim Dennis Huggins.
Dennis Huggins was a stay-at-home dad.
“Angela was a hardworking mother,” Durand Huggins shared.
Dennis Huggins, 35; Angela Boggs, 38; Jered Boggs, 14; Daisia Huggins, 6; Kyle Huggins, 5; Alivia Huggins, 3; and Cameron Huggins, 1, were killed in one of the fires that Ford was convicted of setting in 2017.
“God saw fit to take them home,” said Denise Huggins, mother of Dennis and grandmother to him and Angela’s 5 children.
“Since you have to live the rest of your life in jail, I’m very satisfied,” Denise said.
“No one will have to worry about Stanley Ford doing harm to their family.”
“I pray for the Lewis family and Gloria’s family… we kind of bonded over the years,” brother Tony Huggins said.
Ford was also convicted of starting the house fire that killed Lindell Lewis, 66, and Gloria Hart, 65, in 2016.
“The Boggs family, the Ford family, the Lewis family all remained cordial to us even though we were representing Stanley Ford,” Ford’s attorney Joe Gorman said.
Ford has maintained his innocence in the case. He did not speak at the sentencing.
His lawyer said Ford plans to appeal the sentence.
“He will never leave prison alive,” Gorman reminded the judge, urging her not to give Stanley Ford consecutive sentences on each aggravated murder charge.
“These are senseless. They are tragic and completely unnecessary,” Judge Croce said before issuing her sentence.
“I bent over backward to assure that you had a safe, effective and fair trial,” she continued.
“I can only imagine the fear in all of them, and for those babies being huddled underneath their parents.”
“There are no words to explain it,” the judge said.
“You have shown not a shred of sympathy or remorse,” Croce lectured Ford.
‘Consecutive sentences are necessary to protect the public,” said Judge Croce.
Ford was given a sentence of life in prison without parole on all 9 murder charges.
They will be served consecutively, in addition to 21 years for attempted aggravated murder with a violent offender specification.
“Mr. Ford, I hope God has mercy on your soul,” Judge Croce said.
Ford did not visibly react when he was issued the sentence.