Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mckeesport Suspect Waives Hearing in Fire That Killed 6

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mckeesport Suspect Waives Hearing in Fire That Killed 6

Article excerpt

A McKeesport man accused of starting a fire that killed six people - four children and two adults - waived his right to a preliminary hearing Friday.

Witnesses were standing before District Judge Leonard Hromyak preparing to be sworn in when Ryan Williams, 25, informed his attorney that he did not wish to have the hearing.

Mr. Williams, who appeared in a red Allegheny County Jail jumpsuit with his hair slicked back, had been told moments earlier that prosecutors were filing additional counts of arson and attempted homicide against him in connection with the October fire at a home on Express Alley. He was already facing charges of homicide and burglary.

The case will now proceed to Allegheny County Common Pleas Court for formal arraignment, by which time the district attorney's office must decide whether it will pursue the death penalty if Mr. Williams is convicted.

"As with any homicide that involves potential aggravating factors, the facts of this case and the background of the defendant will be thoroughly reviewed to determine whether it would be appropriate to proceed with this prosecution as a capital case," said Mike Manko, spokesman for the DA's office. …

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