Defense wants leniency in 9 Ohio arson deaths

AP News
Posted: May 05, 2011 10:41 AM

The defense wants a lenient sentence for a man convicted in the arson deaths of eight children and a woman at an Ohio birthday sleepover.

Attorneys for 27-year-old Antun Lewis have told a judge in Cleveland that he deserves less than life in prison because he's mentally disabled and once saved a 2-year-old's life in a car wreck.

Federal prosecutors say in their sentencing memo that Lewis deserves life in prison because of the horrific crime and because there's nothing redeeming about his background.

On Wednesday, Judge Solomon Oliver delayed sentencing until June 22 to consider a request for a new trial. The judge earlier ruled out the death penalty on mental grounds.

The 2005 fire in Cleveland killed a woman, four of her children and four other youngsters.