Youngstown house, site of suspected arson-murder, to be torn down

robert seman youngstown ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Some long-awaited relief could be coming soon now to a south side Youngstown neighborhood.

Robert Seman is accused of setting fire to a home on Powers Way this past March, killing 10-year-old Corinne Gump and her grandparents, Bill and Judy Schmidt.

The house has sat in disrepair after a judge ordered it be preserved while investigators for both the prosecution and defense went through it looking for evidence.

Now, defense lawyers said their inspector recently finished his review and said the house is now ready to be demolished.

“This took a long investigation, so we had to keep it up,” Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor Dawn Cantalamessa said. “An unusually long amount of time because we didn’t know who it was at first…That’s what kinda delayed this process as well.”

Wednesday morning, Judge Maureen Sweeney ordered the house on Powers Way be torn down as soon as possible during one of Seman’s monthly pretrials in the triple-murder case.

Neighbor Jean McCammon said she will never forget what happened at the home in March and said she is relieved that it will be demolished.

“I can actually still see the first flames shooting out of the basement, and the next time I blink, I can see the whole fire. It’s just embedded in my brain,” she said.

Neighbors describe horrendous smells, plus flies and other animals coming out of the building.

The neighborhood has also been dealing with emotional scars.

“It’ll be a nice thing to have the house down. I wish they would leave the tree up as a living memorial to the kind and loving people that they were,” McCammon said.

Prosecutors say Robert Seman set the house on fire to keep the child from testifying against him in a rape trial.

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