Akron arson suspect Stanley Ford pleads not guilty

Deadly fire on Fultz Street in April 2016.
Deadly fire on Fultz Street in April 2016.
Arson led to the death of 7 people in May. (Source: WOIO)
Arson led to the death of 7 people in May. (Source: WOIO)

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - The man accused of setting three arsons since April of 2016 pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday. Stanley Ford is being held on a $7 million bond.

Margaret Scott from the Summit County Prosecutor's Office said that Ford, 58, is responsible for the death of nine people in two separate house fires.

"The grand jury indicted Ford on 27 felony charges and two misdemeanor charges," said Scott.

Ford is currently being held in jail for setting fire to a home that neighbors his on Fultz Street on May 15. The fire resulted in the death of five children and two adults.

Police have also connected Ford to a separate deadly arson on Fultz Street in April 2016. Lindell Lewis and his girlfriend Gloria Hart died of smoke inhalation in that fire, according to investigators.

Ford is also being charged in connection with a car fire that occurred on Russell Avenue on Jan. 23. There were no injuries reported in that fire.

Ford's charges include:

  • 22 counts of aggravated murder
  • 2 counts of attempted murder
  • 2 counts of aggravated arson
  • 1 count of cruelty to animals
  • 1 count of arson
  • 1 count of menacing

Investigators are still determining whether Ford is responsible for any other arson-related incidents in the area.

He faces the death penalty if he is convicted. His pretrial is set for Aug. 8.

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