AKRON, Ohio — The second trial of Stanley Ford, the Akron man accused of nine arson deaths between 2016 and 2017, continued this week.
According to News 5 media partner the Akron Beacon Journal, Patrick Boggs was brought to the Summit County Common Pleas Court for questioning, but he invoked the Fifth Amendment.
Boggs is the estranged husband of a woman killed in one of the fires. Shortly after the May 2017 fire, he told a fellow Portage County jail inmate that he set the blaze because he was upset with Angela Boggs, his wife, for being involved with a Black man.
Akron detectives later determined his confession was not credible, Det. Troy Looney said. This shifted the focus to Ford.
Ford, 62, is accused of more murders than anyone in Summit County history. He is charged with 22 counts of aggravated murder and faces the death penalty.
Prosecutors say Ford was motivated to start the fires by disagreements with his Sherbondy Hills neighbors, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Ford’s attorneys point to other potential suspects for the arsons, like Boggs.
Det. Looney was the prosecution’s final witness, with much of his testimony Tuesday and Wednesday focusing on interviews he had with Ford after the second fire.
Looney said detectives became convinced that the man in surveillance footage seen going back and forth between the houses where the fatal fires were started was responsible for setting the blazes.
“If you could identify this person, you would know who set the fire?” Assistant Prosecutor Brian LoPrinzi asked.
“Yes,” Looney said.
Ford has maintained his innocence.
Closing arguments in the trial are Monday, and then the jury will begin deliberations.
Jurors will be sequestered until they reach a verdict.
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