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Ohio man convicted in fire that killed 9 wants case tossed

January 19, 2018

FILE-In this file photo taken Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, a memorial is made on the steps of the burned-out house where 9 people died in 2005 in Cleveland. Antun Lewis, the Ohio man convicted of setting the house fire that killed a woman and eight children at a birthday sleepover has asked a judge to throw out his conviction. Juries have twice convicted Antun Lewis on charges he set the 2005 fire in Cleveland. Lewis has contended repeatedly that he didn't set the fire and expressed condolences to the families. The 34-year-old Lewis is serving a 35-year prison sentence. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio man convicted of setting a house fire that killed a woman and eight children at a birthday sleepover has asked a judge to throw out his conviction.

Juries have twice convicted Antun Lewis on charges he set the 2005 fire in Cleveland.

Lewis has contended repeatedly that he didn’t set the fire and expressed condolences to the families. The 34-year-old Lewis is serving a 35-year prison sentence.

Lewis asked U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. last week to throw out his conviction because of poor legal assistance, including his attorney’s failure to ask for a new location for the second trial.

Oliver gave government prosecutors until the middle of next month to respond to Lewis’ request.

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