An Ohio man charged with repeatedly raping and then killing a 10-year-old girl and her grandparents died after jumping off a courthouse balcony the week he was due to stand trial.
Robert Seman Jr, 48, threw himself off an inside balcony on the fourth floor of the Mahoning County Courthouse in Youngstown, Ohio, reports The Vindicator.
Seman reportedly landed on the marble floor of the courthouse. A worker explaining the impact of his fall said it literally shook the building.
His death shocked many involved in or closely following the case, from prosecutors to reporters.
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"I am very shocked because it seemed like he did everything he could to stay out of jail,” said Joe Gorman, a reporter for The Vindicator, WFMJ reports. "If you believe what the prosecution says, he committed the original crime so he wouldn't go to jail in the first place. For a guy who puts all that effort into doing that surprises me."
If Seman had stood trial and was found guilty, he would have faced the death penalty.
Seman was accused of torching 10-year-old Corrine Gump, 63-year-old William Schmidt, and 61-year-old Judith Schmidt in the Schmidt's family home on March 31, 2015, when he set their house on fire.
He killed them only hours before he was due to stand trial for allegedly raping Corrine, the daughter of Lynn Schmidt, whom he had been dating for years.
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Many on social media thought it was fitting that Seman died after being accused of these crimes, arguing it reflects his guilt.
"Pretty good outcome all things considered," wrote one Daily Mail reader.
"I applaud him for doing this, he knew he was guilty and saved American tax payers plenty," added another.
"Great news . No expensive trial , countless appeals , room and board, medical care," said a third. "It's better this way."
Some even thought others should follow Seman's example.
"This has given me an idea; what if we told people who were charged with murder and other felonies that they had the option of jumping from the courthouse, or going to trial and taking their chances with a jury?," one wrote. "Couldn't that save a LOT of money?"
Some didn't think it was a wise idea, however.
"Charging someone with a crime doesn't mean s/he is guilty of it," responded another. "Prosecutors have gotten it wrong so many times."
Yet while many thought it a fitting end for Seman, others -- including Corinne's stepmother, Lisa Cappitti -- did not feel the same way.
"It’s sad," said Cappitti. "There’s no justice at all. We don’t know what to feel."
"He didn't suffer nearly enough," opined a Daily Mail reader.