Accused arsonist to stand trial in deadly Pittsburgh fire - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Accused arsonist to stand trial in deadly Pittsburgh fire

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - A judge has ruled that a man accused of setting and bragging about a Pittsburgh house fire that killed a 4-year-old girl and two women last month must stand trial on multiple counts of arson and homicide.

The ruling came Friday after an attorney for 41-year-old Martell Smith argued that prosecutors had no direct evidence linking Smith to the scene.

Authorities say Smith was involved in a bar fight with a man who also lived at the home. They say a witness overheard Smith muttering "yep, yep, I did it," while crews battled the blaze Dec. 20.

Smith maintains his innocence.

Sandra Carter Douglas, 58; Shamira Staten, 21, and her daughter, Chy'enne Manning, died in the fire. Douglas' husband escaped by jumping from a second-story roof but broke his ankle.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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