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Published: Saturday, 5/19/2001

Girl's killer receives up to 50 years

A Toledo man could spend 50 years in prison after being found guilty yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court of setting a fire that killed a 10-year-old girl in 1993.

Roger Barker, 25, of 2652 Stitt St., was sentenced by Judge Robert Christiansen to 14 to 50 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and aggravated arson. The sentencing range was five to 25 years on each count.

“I find this was a totally senseless act,” Judge Christiansen said. “You didn't care who you might hurt.”

After about three hours of deliberation, a jury convicted Barker for setting a fire that killed Alicia Nour on Aug. 20, 1993, at 334 Broadway.

During the trial, Derick Newlan, who claimed he was with Mr. Barker the night of the fire, testified that his friend used a lighter to start the fire when he found an open door on the first floor of the building.

Arson investigators ruled the blaze accidental, believing it was started by lit cigarettes left unattended on the first floor.

The fire was considered accidental until last year when police captured Danny Frost, 30, of 431 Segur Ave., for a series of robberies on Broadway. Frost gave police information that led to Barker's arrest in exchange for a four-year sentence on the five robberies.

Ali Nour, Alicia's brother, told Judge Christiansen that his sister's death has damaged family relationships.

“The worst thing of all about her death is not knowing how she would've turned out,” Ali Nour said. “We don't know, but we are sure that she would've been very special.”

James Vail, an assistant county prosecutor, called Barker's crime “a terrible, reckless act.”

“Still, to this date, the defendant has no remorse,” Mr. Vail said.

Barker denied his involvement when given a chance to speak.

“I didn't do it and I'm sorry it happened,” he told the judge.

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