TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - An October trial has been set for the man accused of killing two Toledo firefighters, and his attorneys are working to make sure their client does not face the death penalty.
Ray Abou-Arab's legal team had until the end of last month to file any additional motions. They filed several, including the motion to try and get the death penalty thrown out.
Abou-Arab has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder for the deaths of Toledo firefighters, James Dickman and Stephen Machcinski, after investigators say he started a fire at an apartment complex back in January. He is also charged with two counts of murder, eight counts of aggravated arson and tampering with evidence.
If found guilty of aggravated murder, Abou-Arab would face the death penalty. However, his attorneys are trying to eliminate that punishment, changing the maximum penalty to life in prison with no eligibility of parole.
"Can they show his intent was to cause the death of these two firemen? And that's where there's a problem, because it's purposely causing death, not purposely causing arson. So it's an issue that they've raised. It's a very interesting legal issue, and it may be an issue that's just to be decided at trial, as opposed to pretrial," explained attorney Jerry Philips.
The prosecution now has two weeks to respond to the defense's motions. At that point, the judge will determine if another pretrial needs to be scheduled.
Stay with Toledo News Now as we continue to follow this developing case.