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Attorneys: Suspect in fatal Akron arsons shouldn't face death penalty

He is accused of killing nine people in two separate arson fires in 2016 and 2017.
Credit: Tim Coffey, 3News

AKRON, Ohio — Attorneys for an Ohio man facing aggravated murder charges in the arson deaths of nine people say extensive brain damage makes him ineligible for a death sentence.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports defense attorneys for 60-year-old Stanley Ford in a brief filed this week wrote that Ford is cognitively impaired and has the mental capacity of a juvenile or an intellectually disabled person. Summit County prosecutors disagreed, saying Ford has a rational understanding of the punishment he could face if convicted.

Ford is accused of killing his Akron neighbors in two separate arson fires in 2016 and 2017. Summit County Common Pleas Judge Christine Croce found Ford competent to stand trial last week, but could still bar him from being eligible for execution.

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