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Death Penalty Sought In Fire That Killed 2 Women And A Child

mug_shot_martell_smith_tiasia_malloy_arson.jpg
Allegheny County Jail
/
AP
Martell Smith, left, is charged with three counts of homicide, along with arson and drug charges, following a house fire that killed three. Tiasia Malloy was charged with aggravated assault on an office in the same incident.

Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty if a man is convicted of first-degree murder in a Pittsburgh fire that killed two women and a 4-year-old child last year.

Forty-one-year-old Martell Smith is charged with homicide and arson in the deaths of 58-year-old Sandra Douglas, 21-year-old Shamira Staten and her daughter Chy'enne Manning.

Authorities allege that Smith set the fire Dec. 20 after a bar fight with a relative of theirs. Police allege that he said "Yep, I did it" as he watched the house burn.

Allegheny County prosecutors said Tuesday that capital punishment would be justified because the killings occurred during commission of a felony and also cited the defendant's criminal history, the child's age and the risk to others. Smith's attorney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.