Man accused in deaths of 2 firefighters gets 20 years

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio building owner accused of arson that led to the deaths of two Toledo firefighters has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

A judge declared a mistrial Thursday for 64-year-old Ray Abou-Arab, who had pleaded not guilty to charges including aggravated murder. Abou-Arab then entered what’s known as an Alford plea on involuntary manslaughter and aggravated arson charges. That means he doesn’t admit guilt but concedes prosecutors had evidence to convict him. Other counts were dismissed.

He was then sentenced.

A judge declared the mistrial after a witness told jurors Abou-Arab failed a polygraph exam, referencing information not typically admissible in court.

Abou-Arab was accused of setting the January 2014 fire to collect insurance money.

Abou-Arab’s attorney, Sam Kaplan, declined to comment Thursday.

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