CLEVELAND (AP) — A jury has reached a verdict in the federal retrial for a man charged in the arson deaths of a woman and eight children during a Cleveland birthday sleepover — the city's deadliest house fire.
The jury in federal court deliberated for hours before reaching the verdict Friday in the case of 30-year-old Antun (AN'-ton) Lewis.
He was convicted at his first trial in the 2005 fire. The conviction was overturned based on a defense complaint about unreliable jailhouse informants.
Authorities say Lewis was upset over a drug debt, doused a floor with gasoline and set the fire. He said he was home blocks away when the fire started.
The fire killed 33-year-old Medeia Carter, four of her children and four other youngsters.