Previous accounts have clarified that dad WESLEY COONROD had "full custody" when this fire broke out. See for example the March 15 link below. Other accounts have also clarified that Daddy had a history of domestic violence and other criminal activity. See our previous post here:
Jury To Begin Deliberating In Fatal Arson Case
Father Accused In Fire That Killed 2 Sons
POSTED: 10:39 am EDT October 7, 2010UPDATED: 10:50 am EDT October 7, 2010
HIGHLAND COUNTY, Ohio -- Jury deliberations are expected to begin Thursday afternoon in the trial of a Highland County father accused of setting a fire that killed his two sons.
Wesley Coonrod was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, two counts of child endangering and one count of arson in connection with the March 7 deaths of his two sons, 4-year-old Thomas and 3-year-old Steven.
The prosecution and defense both presented their closing arguments Thursday morning. The jury was expected to begin deliberating shortly thereafter.
Coonrod took the stand in his own defense on Wednesday. During his testimony, Coonrod said that he escaped the fire by jumping through a window at the burning Greenfield home, but couldn't get back inside to save the children because the doors were locked.
But Coonrod could not explain why the window had closed behind him while being questioned on the stand.
Earlier in the week, prosecutors pointed to marks on the floor of the burned out home that they said were indicators of accelerant. But the defense disputed the finding, saying that accelerant had never been found inside the home.
Defense attorneys claimed in their own opening statement that one of the boys set the fire, not their father.
If convicted of the most serious charges against him, Coonrod could face the death penalty.
October 1, 2010: Man Breaks Down As EMT Testifies In Murder Trial
September 30, 2010: Trial Begins For Man Accused Of Killing Sons In Fire
May 3, 2010: No Change Of Venue For Father Charged With Arson, Murder
April 9, 2010: Father Pleads Not Guilty In Sons' Deaths
April 7, 2010: Father Charged With Murder In Fire That Killed Sons
March 15, 2010: Coonrod Family Speaks Out On Fatal Fire
March 12, 2010: Man Recalls Attempts To Save Boys From Fire
March 8, 2010: Father Held In Highland Co. Fire That Killed Boys