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Federal, state courts refuse to stay Ohio execution

CINCINNATI - The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused Monday to delay today's execution of an Ohio man who killed five children in a 1992 apartment fire he started to destroy evidence of a burglary.

William Garner, 37, had asked the court to postpone the execution so he could argue that his death sentences should be thrown out because he had the mental age of a child when he set the fire. The denial by a three-judge panel of the court cannot be appealed.

Earlier yesterday, the Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear a similar mental-age argument.

Garner was 19 when, in the predawn hours of Jan. 26, 1992, he gained access to Addie Mack's Cincinnati apartment after stealing keys from her purse while she received care in a hospital emergency room.

Six children, ages 8 to 13, were at the apartment alone.

Garner admitted throwing a lighted match onto a couch in an attempt to destroy evidence of the burglary and said he thought the children would escape. Only one did.

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