An Ohio murder suspect accused of killing a 10-year-old girl and her grandparents jumped to his death off a courthouse balcony Monday just days before his trial was set to begin.
Robert Seman Jr., 48, was set to stand trial on four counts of rape and four counts of gross sexual imposition before he committed suicide at the Mahoning County Courthouse in Youngstown, Sheriff Jerry Greene told the Youngstown Vindicator.
“According to a couple of the attorneys and basically everybody there, it seemed like he was in pretty good spirits,” Greene said. “He was talking about the future of his trial, and he just decided to jump.”
Surveillance footage inside the courthouse captured the moment Seman leaped to his death. Seman and two officers are seen walking out of the courtroom to a holding cell when Seman slows down his pace. He then takes three hesitant steps towards the right before he throws himself over the fourth-floor railing.
The Youngstown Vindicator reported that Seman laid motionless on the rotunda floor and he had purple bruising on his face. It was reported that some spectators on the scene were visibly upset.
“That was an evil, evil man,” a prosecutor said.
Prosecutors alleged that Seman repeatedly raped his girlfriend, Lynn Schmidt’s 10-year-old daughter Corrine Gump over a four-year span. In an effort to silence Gump, Seman allegedly set ablaze the home of her maternal grandparents, Judith and William Schmidt, killing all three residents inside. At the time of the March 2015 fire, Lynn was living with Seman.
Police said Seman used gasoline to set the Schmidt’s home on fire and that he had burns on his body. Seman has always declared he was innocent of all allegations.
Assistant Mahoning County Prosecutor Dawn Cantalamessa told news outlets that Seman “knew the evidence against him.”
“Every witness we talked to in preparation for the case, they didn’t know why he wasn’t pleading guilty or asking for some sort of plea, so this is very telling,” Cantalamessa said.
Seman’s capital murder trial was to begin April 12 in Portage County Common Pleas Court. If convicted Seman could have faced the death penalty.
Watch the disturbing footage below: