AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Attorneys for a black man charged in two Ohio fires that killed nine people on his street allege race was a factor in the decision to seek capital punishment.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports prosecutors oppose the request to dismiss death penalty specifications in the case against 58-year-old Stanley Ford.

The defense says a disproportional number of blacks have faced the death penalty in Summit County.

Ford pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder charges in an April 2016 that killed two adults and a May 2017 blaze that killed two adults and five children.

Emails from the prosecutor's office about the case will be reviewed by a county judge to determine whether that information should be shared with the defense attorneys arguing that race affected the handling of the case.

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Information from: Akron Beacon Journal, http://www.ohio.com