TOLEDO -- A Toledo judge has sentenced a convicted arsonist to die for setting the fire that killed four people last fall. A Lucas County jury recommended the death penalty for Wayne Powell after finding him guilty on 11 counts of aggravated murder and aggravated arson, and Judge Gary Cook went along with that recommendation.
Powell was convicted of setting a house on fire last November, killing his ex-girlfriend, Mary McCollum, her wheelchair-bound mother, Rose, her four-year-old son, Jamal, and two-year-old cousin, Sanaa.
During his trial, his lawyers tried to say the house was demolished by city crews faster than they could gather evidence from it. Defense attorneys called Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner to the stand about the demolition, and his comments made the day of the fire. The mayor maintained the buck may stop at his office, but not when it comes to the decision to demolish a structure.
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