AKRON (AP) - Attorneys for a black man charged in two Ohio fires that killed nine people on his street allege race was a factor in the decision to seek capital punishment.
The Akron Beacon Journal reports prosecutors oppose the request to dismiss death penalty specifications in the case against 58-year-old Stanley Ford.
The defense says a disproportional number of blacks have faced the death penalty in Summit County.
Ford pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder charges in an April 2016 fire that killed two adults and a May 2017 blaze that killed two adults and five children.
Emails from the prosecutor's office about the case will be reviewed by a county judge to determine whether that information should be shared with the defense attorneys arguing that race affected the handling of the case.