Man Accused of Killing Girl, 10, and Her Grandparents Jumps to His Death at Courthouse
Robert Seman was accused of setting fire to the home of a girl who was set to testify against him.
An Ohio man accused of killing two grandparents and their young granddaughter, whom he allegedly raped, plunged to his death from a courthouse balcony Monday.
Robert Seman, 48, was being escorted to a holding cell when he reportedly leaped down four floors and died on the rotunda floor of the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas.
On Monday afternoon, Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene released surveillance footage showing Seman leaving a courtroom moments before his death. The sheriff told WFMJ that Seman was in civilian clothes and being escorted unrestrained due to rules about how defendants can appear in court.
The footage shows him suddenly running towards the balcony and throwing himself over the edge. The video does not show him hit the ground.
Seman's suicide came a week before his trial in the death of 10-year-old Corinne Gump and her grandparents, Bill and Judy Schmidt, was slated to begin in neighboring Portage County.
Prosecutors alleged Seman set fire to Gump's home in March 2015 because she was expected to testify against him in a rape case.
Seman was charged with murder after the three died in the fire, which authorities ruled was arson.
Sheriff Greene defended his deputies' handling of the defendant on Monday.
"The deputies did a great job," said Greene. "They did what they were supposed to do when escorting Mr. Seman."
He said Seman must have simply had "his mind made up."
Seman's trial was set for April 17 after a mistrial was declared following an initial jury selection back in September.
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