Robert Seman could face death sentence for murders of Corinne Gu - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio


Robert Seman could face death sentence for murders of Corinne Gump and grandparents

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A Green Township man charged with raping a ten-year-old girl who died in a Youngstown house fire is now charged with the murder of the little girl and her grandparents.

The Mahoning County Grand Jury on Thursday indicted forty-seven-year-old Robert Seman for the murders of ten-year-old Corinne Gump, 63-year-old William Schmidt and his 61-year-old wife Judith.

The bodies of all three victims were found inside the Schmidt's burning Powers Way home on March 30th, just hours before Seman was scheduled to go on trial for raping the little girl.

Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains says he believes that Seman was motivated by his desire to escape punishment in his rape trial.

The indictment charges Seman with ten counts of aggravated murder, three counts of burglary and three counts of arson.

Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains explained during a Thursday afternoon news conference that while Seman was indicted for allegedly killing the three victims, he was also charged with six additional counts of aggravated murder counts for allegedly committing the three murders while committing arson and burglary.  The tenth aggravated murder count was filed because Corinne Gump was under 13 years of age.

Gains says that if Seman is convicted, he could face the death penalty or three life sentences.

Seman had previously been indicted on four counts of rape and four counts of gross sexual imposition, all involving Corinne Gump.

He had been released on $100,000 bond and was under electronically monitored house arrest when the March 30th fire broke out at the Powers Way home of Corinne Gump's grandparents where the ten year old was staying.

When firefighters found the bodies of the three victims in the home, Youngstown police detectives were notified.

During their investigation, detectives were informed that Seman had attempted to bribe his ex wife to testify that Corinne Gump had made inconsistent statements about the facts leading up to his rape indictment.

Fire investigators found two, five gallon gas cans near the fire scene, and later determined that gasoline was used as the accelerant to start the fire.

According to Gains, five hours after the fire, Seman appeared at the offices of the electronic monitoring agency to request a new ankle bracelet with a tighter strap. Investigators say Seman's old ankle strap was one inch longer than the new strap.

Seman then reported to court where his rape trial was scheduled to begin. After learning about the bribery allegations and information that the alleged rape victim had perished in the fire, Seman's bond was revoked and he has been in the Mahoning County jail ever since.

Seman was subsequently indicted for bribery as well.

He'll be arraigned on the charges in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Stay connected with 21 News and for the latest on this developing story.

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