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Judge rules 1 trial for man charged with killing 9 in fires

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A judge says a man accused of killing nine people in two arson fires in Ohio will have a single trial.

Attorneys for defendant Stanley Ford argued he should have separate trials for the fatal fires in his Akron neighborhood. One fire killed two adults in April 2016. The second killed two adults and five children in May 2017.

Ford could face the death penalty if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports a judge in Summit County rejected the request for separate trials in a ruling released this past week.

Judge Christine Croce said she didn’t find a serious risk that a joint trial “would prevent the jury from making a reliable judgment about guilt or innocence.”

Prosecutors allege Ford had a “beef” with neighbors.

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Information from: Akron Beacon Journal, http://www.ohio.com

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