Cleveland man convicted in 2005 fire deaths of 9

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Associated Press

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 13 at 6:06 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former drug dealer has been found guilty at his retrial in the arson deaths of a woman and eight children during a Cleveland birthday sleepover — the city's deadliest house fire.

A federal court jury returned the verdict Friday against 30-year-old Antun (AN'-ton) Lewis.

Lewis was convicted at his first trial in the 2005 fire. The conviction was overturned based on a defense complaint about unreliable jailhouse informants.

The fire killed 33-year-old Medeia Carter, four of her children and four other youngsters.

Authorities say Lewis was upset over a drug debt, doused a floor with gasoline and set the fire.

Lewis is a convicted drug dealer who knew some of the victims. He denies wrongdoing and says he was home several blocks away when the fire started.

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