Suspect in Ohio fireworks store blaze that killed 9 dies

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar 30th, 2015 @ 3:33pm

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IRONTON, Ohio (AP) — A brain-damaged man accused of starting a 1996 fire at an Ohio fireworks store that killed nine people has died in a mental health facility.

The Lawrence County prosecutor says Todd Hall died March 7 at an Athens facility where he'd been treated for several years. He was 43.

The cause of death hasn't been determined, but Athens County Coroner Carl Ortman says it appears to be natural causes.

Hall was 24 when prosecutors say that, as a prank, he threw a lighted cigarette on a shelf crammed with fireworks at the Ohio River Fireworks store in Scottown, about 100 miles southeast of Cincinnati. The blaze July 3, 1996, killed eight people. A ninth died later.

Hall repeatedly was found incompetent to stand trial for aggravated arson and involuntary manslaughter.

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