Death Penalty Lifted For Ray Abou-Arab For Killing Two Firefighters
No Death Penalty For Ray Abou-Arab After He Killed Two Heroes
Toledo, OH – Ray Abou-Arab, the man responsible for killing Toledo firefighters Jamie Dickman and Stephen Machinski, will no longer face the death penalty in his trial.
According to 13ABC, the incident occurred on January 26, 2014, at an apartment building that Abou-Arab owned on Magnolia Street. The two firefighters, Jamie Dickman, age 31, and Stephen Machinski, age 42, were inside an apartment trying to put out the blaze when they were burned to death.
Other firefighters went into the burning building to look for both firefighters, who were lost for several minutes. After valiant efforts, they were located and pulled from the still-burning building. They were transported to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center where they were pronounced dead, according to The Toledo Blade.
The two were the Toledo first firefighters killed in the line of duty since 1981. The incident led to changes in Toledo Fire Department safety policies and procedures after concerns over communications and lack of a safety officer.
An investigation into the fire led to Ray Abou-Arab being charged with two counts of Aggravated Murder, each with a death penalty specification, two counts of Murder, eight counts of Aggravated Arson, and one count of Tampering with Evidence.
The case has been in the courts for years, and a motion was filed in December 2016 to lift the death penalty. His attorney’s argument was that Ohio’s capital murder sentencing laws violate Abou-Arab’s constitutional rights.
In January 2017 prosecutors had originally opposed Abou-Arab’s attorney’s motion. But now, prosecutors have agrees to remove the death penalty option.
Ray Abou-Arab’s attorney argued in his motion that Ohio’s death penalty option was unconstitutional because it placed the decision in the hands of the judge, not the jury.
This man set fire to a building that he owned, with no regard for its occupants, or for the firefighters and other emergency personnel who responded. He’s had three more years to live than the two firefighters who died.
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