TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A key witness took the stand Tuesday morning in the murder trial of Ray Abou Arab. Ray Abou is being charged with the murder of two Toledo firefighters, Stephen Machcinski and Jamie Dickman.
Firefighter Glen Frames' testimony is essential to the case because he was the first fire investigator on the scene of the fatal fire.
After his investigation, Frames initially determined that the fire started in the kitchen in an online report. The report contradicts with the state trying to prove that Ray Abou Arab started the fire in the garage, which could put reasonable doubt in jurors' minds.
Frames testified Tuesday morning that he was not good with the online computer reporting system but remembered logging on and documenting the notes he took at the scene. He recalled the building being unsafe to enter and noticing heavy charring in the kitchen and put that information into the online system.
In his testimony, Frames said he never determined where the fire started however the defense read transcripts from a testimony Frames made in this case two years saying that he believed the fire started in the kitchen.
Frames replied that he did not doubt the defense in reading the transcripts accurately but he doubted he would have phrased his testimony in the way that it was read.
He also testified that he was taken off the case completely after creating the original report due to having a difficult time investigating his good friend Stephen Machcinski's death. Frames has also been removed from the fire investigative unit.
The final report on the fire, put together by investigator Dale Pelles, says the fire started in the garage.
The defense questioned where Frames's report is saying it could help prove Ray Abou Arab did not set the fire. However, no one knows where the original information is.
At one point during the trial, the jury was taken to the judge's chamber along with the attorneys on both sides. What transpired is unknown, but none of the jurors were excused following the meeting.