AKRON, OH (WOIO) - The man charged with setting a fire that killed a family of seven in Akron served time in prison for serious crimes including rape. In Akron Municipal
Court Stanley Ford made his first appearance via video on an arson charge and seven charges of aggravated murder.
He at times appeared confused and was ordered held without bond. Records from the Ohio Department of Corrections show that in 1977 he went to prison for the rape as well as grand theft, two felonious assaults, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.
He got out 9 years later but was returned to prison in 1988 on the same charges with drug trafficking and sexual penetration added on. In the neighborhood where Ford lived Michael McCoy said he didn't know of the past crimes.
He already was suspicious that Ford torched a home two doors down from him a year ago over a beef with the homeowner.
His aunt Audrey Taylor doesn't think Ford did it.
"That fire there. That man did not set that. He has two little girls," Taylor said.
Others simply have no opinion. Police continue to build a case against Ford.
A key piece of evidence could be surveillance video. Cameras at the rear of a house point at ford's houses across the street.
On the front of the home there is another camera, along with a camera on the house next door they appear to cover the route to the fatal fire house.