PITTSBURGH (AP) – Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty if a man is convicted of first-degree murder in a Pittsburgh fire that killed two women and a 4-year-old child last year.
Forty-one-year-old Martell Smith is charged with homicide and arson in the deaths of 58-year-old Sandra Douglas, 21-year-old Shamira Staten and her daughter Chy’enne Manning.
Authorities allege that Smith set the fire Dec. 20 after a bar fight with a relative of theirs. Police allege that he said “Yep, I did it” as he watched the house burn.
Allegheny County prosecutors said Tuesday that capital punishment would be justified because the killings occurred during commission of a felony and also cited the defendant’s criminal history, the child’s age and the risk to others. Smith’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
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