WTAM Local News

 

Antun Lewis gets 35 years in second conviction for deadly fire

(Cleveland) Families of victims and of the defendant spoke before  Judge Oliver on Friday, at a lengthy sentencing hearing for the 30-year-old  Lewis.

Lewis was convicted for the second time in the deadly May 2005 fire on East 87th Street that left eight children and one woman dead.

The children were at the home for a birthday sleepover.  Many were related to each other.The fire killed 33-year-old Medeia Carter, four of her children and four other youngsters.

Lewis's first trial ended in a verdict of guilty, but Judge Oliver set aside the verdict because of inconsistencies in testimony from a number of witnesses.

The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the judge's ruling and ordered a new trial.

Lewis was tried again in December 2013, and found guilty.

Lewis was deemed ineligible to receive the death penalty, because he reportedly  has a low IQ.

Authorities claimed he set the fire because he was angry over a drug debt.  But defense lawyers say there was no drug debt and he passed two lie detector tests.

Family members told Newsradio WTAM 1100's Ken Robinson that 35 years is not long enough.  Lewis's aunt says there was no evidence that he committed the crime.

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