YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Mahoning County Grand Jury indicted Robert Seman Thursday, charging that he murdered a ten-year-old girl and two of her grandparents by burning down their house.
Seman is charged with 10 counts of murder, which all come with the potential of the death penalty, plus three counts of aggravated arson and three counts of aggravated burglary, according to court records.
The indictment came over two months after the March 30 fire that killed Corinne Gump, 10, and her maternal grandparents, Bill and Judy Schmidt.
That same day, Seman’s trial on charges that he raped Gump was set to begin. Judge Maureen Sweeney delayed the trial and revoked Seman’s bond.
Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains said at a press conference Thursday that at a scene of that fire, someone told police that Seman had tried to bribe them to get them to not share evidence in Gump’s rape case. That person turned out to be Seman’s ex-wife, according to prosecutors.
Gains said that the results of lab tests done at the scene showed gasoline was used to speed up the fire and that investigators found two plastic, five-gallon gas cans at the scene.
Gains also said that after the fire, Seman requested and was given a tighter ankle bracelet. Investigators said the old ankle bracelet was found to be one inch larger than the replacement.
Gains said that fire investigators ruled out all accidental causes of the fire.
Thursday, April 2, police raided Seman’s house in Green Township. That same day, a source close to the investigation said when Seman, 46, showed up in court March 30, he had burns on his body and concealed them by using makeup.
Gains said that he will try to convene a jury in Mahoning County to try Seman and not move the case elsewhere.
Seman remains jailed without bond in a secure area of the county jail for his protection. He’s now expected to appear in court again on new charges later this month.