TOPEKA — Prosecutors are appealing a decision to overturn the conviction of a man accused of setting a fire that destroyed a Topeka apartment building and killed one tenant.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a Shawnee County judge ruled last month that Frank Jerome “Chicago” Robinson wasn’t fairly convicted and should be retried.
Robinson had been serving a 36-year prison sentence after jurors convicted him of reckless second-degree murder and aggravated arson in the 2006 fire that killed 53-year-old Marvina Washington. Several other people escaped, including a woman who was badly injured while jumping.
Robinson’s attorneys had argued that his trial counsel was ineffective.
Shawnee County District Attorney’s office chief of staff Matt Patterson says efforts are underway to notify surviving victims, witnesses and Washington’s family about the decision.