CLEVELAND – Attorneys for a man twice convicted in the arson deaths of a Cleveland woman and eight children at a birthday sleepover have asked for a third trial.
Defense attorneys for 30-year-old Antun Lewis asked the trial judge Thursday to throw out his second conviction as unfair because of widespread media coverage between the deadly 2005 fire and his trial.
The small-time drug dealer was convicted for a second time in December. His first conviction was overturned by the trial judge who found that federal prosecutors had used unreliable jailhouse informants.
The fire killed 33-year-old Medeia Carter, four of her children and four other youngsters attending a birthday sleepover party on May 21, 2005. Prosecutors say Lewis was upset over a drug debt.
A message seeking comment was left at the federal prosecutor's office.