Building owner charged in firefighters' deaths to be arraigned Tuesday

Ray Abou-Arab (Source: Toledo Police)
Ray Abou-Arab (Source: Toledo Police)
Stephen Machcinski (left) and James Dickman (right)
Stephen Machcinski (left) and James Dickman (right)

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The man charged with intentionally setting a fire that killed two Toledo firefighters will be in court Tuesday morning.

Ray Abou-Arab will be arraigned on aggravated murder, murder, aggravated arson and tampering with evidence charges in Lucas County Common Pleas Court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Judge Fredrick McDonald will hear the case.

Stephen Machcinski, 42, and James Dickman, 31, died of injuries sustained fighting a fire on Magnolia Street in north Toledo on January 31.

Abou-Arab could face the death penalty if convicted on the aggravated murder charges.

Criminal defense attorney and former Toledo City Prosecutor Jerome Phillips says a lot of emotion and some expert witness testimony can be expected in a capital case.

"There are a lot of different rules that apply to a capital case. And most importantly because of the nature of the potential punishment everyone wants to make sure things are done the right way, because there are special rules that apply to these types of cases," said Phillips.

Lucas County Common Pleas Court Administrator Don Colby says Judge McDonald's seat is up for re-election in November. McDonald cannot run for re-election however, because he will be 70 years old.

Colby says one option around the issue would be to have McDonald appointed as a visiting judge following the election so that he could hear the reminder of the Abou-Arab case.

Click here for continuing coverage of the case against Ray Abou-Arab, as well as much more on the fallen Toledo Firefighters.

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