Anniversary of Powers Way arson brings memories of those lost in fire

Thursday marked the second anniversary of their deaths, and their friends are still struggling without them

he murders of Bill and Judy Schmidt and their granddaughter Corinne Gump are still being felt in the deaf community.


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The murders of Bill and Judy Schmidt and their granddaughter Corinne Gump are still being felt in the deaf community.

Thursday marked the second anniversary of their deaths, and their friends are still struggling without them.

Irene Tunanidas worked with Bill and Judy Schmidt when they were still at Wilson High School.  As a teacher, she helped them with their reading and writing and later, she knew got to know them better as they worked together over years.

“They were committed to the deaf community, helping the deaf,” Tunanidas said.

When Judy and Bill were murdered, the tragedy rocked the entire community.

“I felt like I lost a bit of my life,” Tunanidas said.

Robert Seman is accused of setting the fire at the Schmidts home on Powers Way in Youngstown that killed the couple and their granddaughter. The girl was set to testify in a rape trial against Seman later that day.

Irene says it’s been hard to watch the court proceedings move so slowly.

“I don’t understand why the trial keeps going, going, going. Why can’t he accept guilt? He is responsible for the deaths of three people,” Tunanidas said.

Seman is scheduled to go on trial in Portage County next month. The trial was moved due to pre-trial publicity in Mahoning County.

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