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Date: 3/6/2009

CINCINNATI (AP) — Police say a student at a small Ohio college has been arrested on arson charges after several fires were set on the campus.

Police in the Cincinnati suburb of Delhi Township say 18-year-old Jordan Cullen was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of aggravated arson. It was not immediately clear whether Cullen had an attorney.

Authorities say Cullen set at least one of five small fires Thursday in two buildings at the College of Mount St. Joseph. She is a resident at the liberal arts college of 2,300 students.

The fires prompted evacuations on the campus. Officials report one person died, but the cause of death has not been determined.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Date: 10/14/2008 4:54 PM

By THOMAS J. SHEERAN
Associated Press Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) _ A man indicted this month on charges of setting a fire that killed a woman and eight children at a birthday sleepover said he would never do anything to harm a child, and that he felt the same pain as relatives of the victims.

“I would never do anything like that,” Antun Lewis, 24, told The Associated Press in a short handwritten note mailed from prison and received Tuesday.

The May 21, 2005, fire killed Medeia Carter, 33, along with eight youngsters, including four of her five children. The deaths horrified Cleveland residents and drew 4,000 people to the victims’ funeral at a convention center.

“The people that know me know that I am crazy about kids and know that I am against anybody that is out to do any harm to a child,” Lewis said in a neatly printed, 12-line response to the AP’s mailed questions. It was signed with his printed name.

Lewis was indicted by a federal grand jury Oct. 1 and charged with arson. He is to be arraigned Oct. 30 and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Authorities said Lewis apparently knew Carter’s mother but haven’t detailed the relationship. Lewis described himself as a “good friend” of the family.

“All the kids that was in that house know me very will and everytime they saw me I had something for them I didn’t care how many it was I made sure I had something for all of them, so when that happend to them it hurt me just as much as it hurt they familys, because they was like family to me to,” Lewis wrote.

U.S. Attorney Bill Edwards said Tuesday he would not comment on Lewis’ letter. Court records don’t list a defense attorney representing Lewis, who is locked up at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville on unrelated drug and weapon charges.

Carter and the children were found on the second floor of the 2 1/2-story, 99-year-old home located in a poor neighborhood about 3 miles from downtown. All died of smoke inhalation.

Carter rented the house with a subsidy from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a connection that gave federal prosecutors jurisdiction in the case.

The investigation had been slowed by differences between county and federal prosecutors, but both agencies agreed to go ahead with a federal trial, with a county assistant prosecutor helping.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

Date: 10/1/2008 6:10 PM

By THOMAS J. SHEERAN

CLEVELAND (AP) _ A man already in prison on drug and weapons charges was indicted Wednesday in a 2005 house fire that killed nine people, including eight children at a birthday sleepover.

Antun Lewis, 24, of Cleveland, was charged with arson in the house fire in May 2005 in a poor neighborhood that outraged residents across Cleveland. Lewis could face the death penalty if convicted.

Friends and relatives of the victims had expressed frustration with the slow investigation by federal, county and city authorities.

“This case has haunted this community for 3½ years,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mason. “It’s been a very complex and difficult case.”

The indictment said Lewis committed the offense “after substantial planning and premeditation to cause the death of a person.”

A phone message seeking comment from attorney William Guarnieri, who represented Lewis in his 2005 drug case, was not immediately returned.

Authorities previously said gasoline was used to start the fire. It blackened the interior, popped out windows and created a flaming nighttime silhouette that led to nonstop calls to 911 from neighbors.

A heart-wrenching funeral, with mourners slumping in grief over white caskets, drew 4,000 people to a convention center.

Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba said the mother of one of the victims, Medeia Carter, apparently knew Lewis.

Carter, 33, died in the fire along with four of her five children. She rented the federally subsidized house, which gave federal prosecutors jurisdiction, said U.S. Attorney Bill Edwards.

Carter and the eight children were found on the second floor of the 2½-story, 99-year-old home, about 3 miles from downtown. All died of smoke inhalation.

Lewis has been in state prison since June 2005 on unrelated drug and weapons charges.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.