Defense seeks 3rd trial in 9 arson deaths in Ohio

By By THOMAS J. SHEERAN

CLEVELAND (AP) — Attorneys for a man twice convicted in the arson deaths of a Cleveland woman and eight children at a birthday sleepover have asked for a third trial.

Defense attorneys for 30-year-old Antun Lewis asked the trial judge Thursday to throw out the second conviction as unfair because of widespread media coverage of the crime between the 2005 fire and the trial.

Lewis, a small-time drug dealer, was convicted in December at his second trial.

His first conviction was overturned by the trial judge. He agreed with the defense that federal prosecutors had used unreliable jailhouse informants.

The fire killed 33-year-old Medeia Carter, four of her children and four other youngsters attending a birthday sleepover party on May 21, 2005.

A message seeking comment was left at the federal prosecutor's office.

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