Accused arsonist on trial for allegedly killing 9 people in 2 Akron fires complains at competency hearing

Stanley Ford found competent to stand trial, his lawyers want more time.
Published: Sep. 24, 2019 at 7:37 PM EDT
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - It has been more than two years since Stanley Ford was arrested for torching a home near his, a fire that killed seven people.

Evidence taken from his home tied him to another fire even closer to his where two people died.

Ford came to court shackled, complaining about the length of time proceedings have taken.

“Never saw any evidence and still, to this day, haven’t seen any evidence at all. The evidence I did see exonerates me. So, I still don’t understand why I’m going through this process,” Ford told Judge Christine Croce.

It is much the same thing that he told 19 News the day after the fire when he was questioned by police and evidence was taken, including gas cans and his shoes. A relative pulled him away from our camera just as he complained that police were trying to get him to confess, adding that he didn’t know anything about the fire.

The proceedings’ purpose was to hear that a psychologist who analyzed him for two weeks in Columbus found that he is competent to stand trial for murder.

Prosecutors accepted the finding. His attorneys have questions.

“There is good cause to ask for you to continue that matter and we’d ask for time to review the records and determine the next course of action,” said attorney Scott Riley.

If convicted, Ford will likely face the death penalty.

He complained repeatedly about the case, and finally was told by Judge Croce that the process was slow due to caution being taken in a case with such a severe possible outcome.

Ford will be back in court on Oct. 11 to see if his lawyers will accept the current finding that he’s competent or request another opinion.

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