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Third suspect faces trial on fatal fire

Posted in Related Deaths
9-29-2014 Ohio:

Two of the three people accused of helping start a house fire that killed two deaf people have been sentenced to prison and a third is now set to go on trial in October.

A Seneca County judge said Charles Schaeffer, 44, Fostoria, will go on trial Oct. 27 on charges that include complicity to aggravated murder and complicity to aggravated arson. His defense lawyer, Mark Klepatz, told the judge that Schaeffer didn’t want to consider a plea deal.

“We are not accepting anything because my client has said from the beginning that he didn’t do it,” Klepatz said.

Authorities said a railroad flare was used to start the May 26 fire in Fostoria. The fire killed 48-year-old Daniel Marker Jr. and 44-year-old Tara Vance, and injured a third person.

A detective said in court this past June that one of the suspects acted out of revenge after accusing Marker, the home’s owner, of sexually abusing a child.

Fostoria police had been looking into the abuse allegations made against Marker, who was a registered sex offender, before the fire, detective Shilo Frankart said.

Schaeffer, meanwhile, faces a maximum of life in prison without parole if he’s convicted on all charges.

He appeared in court on Wednesday, a day after Timothy Hall, 20, of Fostoria pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Nearly two weeks ago, Shey Weiker pleaded guilty to aggravated arson, murder and attempted murder charges. Weiker, 32, was sentenced to life in prison, but she will be eligible for parole after 25 years. ..Source.. by Sntenial Tribune

Revenge alleged motive in fatal fire


Testimony heard Tuesday alleged that revenge was the motive for a Memorial Day arson that killed two people at a South Poplar Street residence.

According to Fostoria Police Det. Shilo Frankart, Shey L. Weiker, 31, 151 Taft Blvd., one of three suspects charged in the fire, allegedly threw a lit railroad flare or fusee toward the porch of 614 S. Poplar St. on May 26 because she believed the owner of the home, Danny Joe Marker Jr., 48, had sexually assaulted her son.

“(Weiker) allegedly accused (Marker) of raping her son,” Frankart said during preliminary hearings Tuesday before Judge Mark Repp in Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court, adding that Weiker had been married to Marker’s brother, Shane.

“She had reported it and the situation was under investigation, but it wasn’t happening fast enough for her.”

Marker died in the fire. Also was killed was Tara Lynn Vance, 44. Dana Weatherall, 49, survived the blaze and was treated in the burn unit at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo. As of Tuesday, Frankart said Weatherall remains in the intensive care unit at the Toledo hospital.

Weiker is being held on four counts of aggravated arson, two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted aggravated murder and one count of tampering with evidence.

Frankart said he interrogated Weiker and the other suspects, Charles V. Schaeffer, 44, 151 Taft Blvd., and Timothy D. Hall, 20, 126 Findlay St.

Both Weiker and Schaeffer waived their rights for preliminary hearings Tuesday.

During Hall’s hearing, Frankart said Hall was present when Weiker was expressing her anger to multiple people on the porch of her home.

“They talked about starting a fire without leaving fingerprints or getting caught,” Frankart said.

Schaeffer allegedly instructed Weiker how to use a railroad flare or fusee, which was stored in the residence, Frankart said.

According to Frankart, Hall confessed to being involved in the conversation about starting a fire, seeing Weiker with the fusee, walking her to the area of 614 S. Poplar St., and meeting up with her after the fire was started.

Hall said Weiker had the top of a railroad fusee with her, according to Frankart.

“Hall stated he took (the fusee top) and tossed it down a storm drain,” he said. “Officers with the Fostoria Police Department later found it (in the drain).”

The fusee top is consistent with the flare used to start the fire at the house, Frankart said.

Hall is facing charges of complicity to murder on the basis of “aiding in destroying evidence,” Frankart said. He is also facing charges on four counts of complicity to commit aggravated arson, two counts of complicity to commit aggravated murder, and one count of complicity to tampering with evidence.

Although his attorney, Clifford Spohn, requested a reduction in Hall’s bond, stating it was “excessive,” Judge Repp continued it at $2 million with 10 percent allowed.

Schaeffer is being held on four counts of complicity to commit aggravated arson, two counts of complicity to commit aggravated murder and one count of complicity to commit attempted aggravated murder.

His attorney, Mark Klepatz, asked Judge Repp to consider “reducing quite a bit” of Schaeffer’s bond, which was set at $1.5 million with 10 percent allowed, stating that he would not be able to pay such a high price.

He assured that Schaeffer would not run, pointing out Schaeffer has consistently showed up for his past court cases — which exceed 50, according to court records.

Schaeffer then pushed back his chair, and with his right knee on the ground and hands folded in a pleading gesture, added, “Please?”

However, Schaeffer’s bond was continued.

Weiker’s attorney James Ruhlen asked that her $2 million with 10 percent allowed be lowered as well, but that request also was denied. ..Source.. by MORGAN MANNS

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