MANSFIELD -- An 18-year-old Mansfield man charged in a fatal arson fire has waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Mansfield Municipal Court, scheduled for Wednesday.
Roscoe D. Hunter II, whose last known address was 211 1/2 S. Foster St., was scheduled to appear at 10 a.m. before Judge Jerry Ault. His defense attorney, Ralph Bove of Mansfield, waived the hearing on Tuesday morning. The decision to waive the hearing will likely send the case to a Richland County grand jury.
A $1 million cash bond remains in place for for Hunter, charged with aggravated arson for allegedly starting a fire June 26 just before 2 a.m. at 212 S. Foster St. in an unoccupied house.
The fire quickly spread to 208 S. Foster St., a blaze which killed 3-year-old Chloe Williams of Mansfield. Neighbors and firefighters were unable to rescue the child, who was trapped in an upstairs bedroom.
Williams, the daughter of Clifton Williams and Kashawn Hawkins, of Mansfield, was staying at the house with a babysitter while her parents worked at Newman Technology. Three adults and four other juveniles escaped the burning house.
A 13-year-old male, charged with arson, was arrested and taken to the Richland County Juvenile Detention Center. Authorities have not identified the juvenile suspect.