A man accused of burning down a house with the 10-year-old daughter of his girlfriend and her deaf grandparents inside just before the girl was set to testify that he had raped and sexually abused her four years has jumped to his own death from the balcony of an Ohio courthouse before his trial began.
Robert Seman, 48, could be seen covered in a sheet after plunging four floors to his death at the Mahoning County Courthouse.
Reporters and others on hand for a hearing saw the suicide happen.
His trial was set to begin Monday in Portage County. He was at the Mahoning County Courthouse for a status hearing, WFMJ reported.
Seman was accused of killing 10-year-old Corrine Gump and her grandparents Bill and Judy Schmidt by burning their Youngstown house down while they slept in 2015.
Cleveland.com ran a lengthy story discussing the case in advance of Seman’s suicide, and it is gruesome.
Gump was set to testify that she had been raped by Seman, her mother’s boyfriend, for four years, since she was 4 years old. Hours before she was going to testify, the home she was staying in with her grandparents was engulfed in flames, killing all three.
Seman was not behind bars at the time, as he had posted $200,000 bond. He was supposed to be electronically monitored.
The girl’s grieving biological father, Ethan Gump, asked at the time, “Why was there a bond set?”
“Why was there a bond set?” he asked. “There should never be a bond for a crime like this. [Accused child rapists] should not be able to leave the jail until they are acquitted or convicted — when they go to prison.”
Corrine Gump was in 4th grade at the time she was killed, and was described in her obituary as “a beautiful child with a soft heart and her mommy’s smarts. She was daddy’s princess, and she always slept with her daddy’s gray tank tops.”
“She had a quirky attitude and touched many people’s lives in her 10 short years. She was a night owl and enjoyed playing games, riding four-wheelers and bikes, swimming and playing outside with her friends,” the obit continued.