CLEVELAND -- Jury selection got under way Friday in the federal retrial of a man suspected in the arson deaths of a woman and eight children at a birthday sleepover in Cleveland.
Opening statements are not expected until Tuesday in the case of 29-year-old Antun Lewis. He had pushed for the retrial to begin over the summer, but a judge said the case was too complex to begin that soon.
Lewis was convicted at his first trial. The conviction was overturned over testimony from jailhouse informants denounced by the defense as unreliable.
Lewis has always maintained his innocence. He knew some of the victims and says he would never harm a child. The May 21, 2005, fire killed 33-year-old Medeia Carter, four of her children and four other children attending the sleepover.