Man Charged in Death of Toledo FFs Returns to Court

March 20--The Oregon man charged with setting a fire that killed two Toledo firefighters and injured three others made his second appearance today in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Ray Abou-Arab, 61, remained silent in the courtroom as his attorneys and Judge Frederick McDonald addressed motions filed in the defense of Mr. Abou-Arab on multiple counts of murder and aggravated arson and tampering with evidence.

He is accused of setting a Magnolia Street apartment building in North Toledo that he owns on Jan. 26. Killed in the fire were Pvts. Stephen Machcinski, 42, and James Dickman, 31.

Among the charges in the indictment for aggravated murder are specifications that could allow Mr. Abou-Arab to be sentenced to death. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges in the 13-count indictment. A trial date has not been scheduled.

Judge McDonald continued the case to May 1 for a pre-trial hearing.

Mr. Abou-Arab later appeared in another Common Pleas Courtroom in an unrelated drug case. At the request of his attorney, James McHarg, the arraignment was continued by Judge Stacy Cook to April 7.

In that case, he and his son, Omar Abou-Arab, 34, also of Oregon, are accused of selling synthetic marijuana. Mr. Abou-Arab is charged with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance.

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