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Death penalty trial opens in 2017 fire that that killed 3

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — A death penalty trial has begun for a man accused of having set a house fire that killed a young child and two women in Pittsburgh 4 1/2 years ago. Forty-five-year-old Martell Smith faces three counts of homicide as well as aggravated arson and other charges.

Allegheny County prosecutors say he set the early morning blaze in December 2017 after getting into a bar fight with another man. The Tribune-Review reports that his attorney said the fight was brief and his client had no motive, but prosecutors say the fight left him bloody and that after the fire, witnesses reported hearing him brag about what he had done.

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