Man again asks for new trial in 9 Ohio fire deaths

June 10, 2011 - 4:14 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — A man convicted in the 2005 arson deaths of eight children and a woman at a birthday sleepover in Ohio says a newly found witness can prove he was framed.

The defense for 27-year-old Antun Lewis of Cleveland outlined the claim Friday in a request to a federal judge for a new trial. An earlier request for a new trial based on other issues is pending.

In the latest request, the defense says a jailhouse snitch who fingered Lewis bragged last year that he and others were angling to concoct a story that would get them leniency. The new witness says the men had nicknames also used by the snitches who testified against Lewis.

Spokesman Mike Tobin says the U.S. attorney's office has no comment on the request.