Prosecutor sees silver lining in Ray Abou Arab's sentence

Prosecutor sees silver lining in Ray Abou Arab's sentence

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The community is still coming to grips with the whirlwind end of the Ray Abou Arab trial.

Details leading to the moment where it was known that a verdict could not be reached, is still being processed in everyone's minds, especially those involved.

Through the duration of the case, prosecutors tried to avoid it being declared a mistrial.

As the trial was wrapping up with the state only having two more witnesses to call , Detective. Sgt, Keefe Snyder told the defense that he knew Abou Arab lied to police due to failing a lie detector test.

"When it happened it was sort of a gasp I guess. It was like 'Oh my God this is bad,' " said Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates.

After Sgt. Snyder revealed the results of the lie detector test, the jury was ushered out the courtroom and several closed door meetings were held to discuss how the case should move forward.

"We were given two options and neither was good, " Bates said.

The options were to either have a new trial, which would probably happen months down the line and force firefighters to testify about the painful memories again , or to end the current one. A plea was discussed.

"Everyone a part of this case wanted it to end so I said well if we can accommodate this that is what we should do," said Bates.

After determining what would be acceptable to to the families, firefighters and community, Abou Arab accepted a plea deal to spare him a possible life sentence for 20 years in prison.

Despite being disappointed about what happened and Abou Arab serving a shorter sentence, Bates said several good things came from the trial including one important fact: The 64-year old man responsible for the fire that killed two Toledo firefighters was being sent to prison for 20 years.

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