- Associated Press - Friday, April 28, 2017

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Prosecutors say a building owner on trial in the deaths of two Ohio firefighters set the deadly fire to collect insurance money.

They say 64-year-old Ray Abou-Arab had filed for bankruptcy two years before the 2014 fire in Toledo and that he was deep in debt.

Abou-Arab has denied setting the blaze that killed Toledo firefighters James Dickman and Stephen Machcinski.

Abou-Arab’s attorney said during opening statements on Thursday that they will challenge that the fire was arson. He also says the building that burned was profitable and there would have been no reason to set it on fire.

Abou-Arab is charged with aggravated murder and murder.

Prosecutors have decided not to seek the death penalty if he is convicted, leaving the possibility of a life prison sentence.


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