By BRIAN BOHNERT
FOR THE COURIER
The three suspects accused of starting a fatal house fire in Fostoria appeared before a judge Tuesday on arson and murder charges.
Shey L. Weiker, 31, and Charles V. Schaeffer, 44, both of 151 Taft Blvd., and Timothy D. Hall, 20, of 126 Findlay St., appeared Tuesday morning before Judge Mark Repp for arraignment in Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court.
The trio is accused of starting a fire at 614 S. Poplar St. early Monday morning. The blaze killed a man and a woman, and injured another woman.
City officials on Tuesday identified those who died as Daniel Marker Jr., 48, who lived in the house, and Tara Lynn Vance, 44. The injured woman was identified as Dana Weatherall, 49.
Police said Weiker is charged with four counts of aggravated arson, two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted aggravated murder and one count of tampering with evidence. During her arraignment, bond was set at $2 million with 10 percent allowed. She is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 3 p.m. June 3, a court representative said.
According to a witness who was in attendance at the arraignments, Weiker responded to Judge Repp’s questions with an edge of defiance in her voice. Schaeffer was reportedly quiet during his hearing. The witness described Hall’s demeanor as “mild.”
Schaeffer is charged with four counts of complicity to commit aggravated arson, two counts of complicity to commit aggravated murder, and one count of complicity to commit attempted aggravated murder, police said.
Repp set Schaeffer’s bond at $1.5 million with 10 percent allowed. The court representative said he will appear for a preliminary hearing at 11:30 a.m. June 3.
Police said Hall faces four counts of complicity to commit aggravated arson, two counts of complicity to commit aggravated murder, one count of complicity to commit attempted aggravated murder, and one count of complicity to tampering with evidence.
Hall is being held on a $2 million bond with 10 percent allowed, the court representative said. His next hearing is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. June 3.
The three suspects, as well as the dead man, Danny Joe Marker, 48, all have prior criminal violations.
According to Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court records, Weiker has several prior traffic and criminal violations, dating back to 2001. Notable offenses include receiving stolen property in April 2012 and a fictitious registration violation in March 2001.
Court records list more than 50 prior violations for Schaeffer, ranging from speeding to assault to resisting arrest. His offenses date from the late 1980s to the present.
Hall has eight prior violations, ranging from a child endangerment charge in 2012 to a failure to reinstate charge in March 2013.
According to the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office sex offender database, Marker was charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and ordered to register as a sexual offender. The database describes the victim as a juvenile male.
Police Chief Keith Loreno said officers executed a search warrant Monday afternoon at 151 Taft Blvd., taking all three suspects into custody and collecting various items as evidence.
The house fire was reported to Fostoria firefighters about 3 a.m. Monday. According to Interim Fire Chief Warren Digby, the initial call came in via 911 at 3:05 a.m., advising of people trapped inside the home.
During the rescue efforts, one firefighter suffered minor injuries when he fell through collapsing stairs. He was able to return to duty, Loreno said.
The deceased were transported by the Seneca County coroner to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office. Loreno said autopsies were scheduled for Tuesday.
Weatherall survived the blaze and is being treated in the burn unit at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo. She was initially transported to ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital and then taken by air ambulance to Toledo.
Loreno said the survivor was unable to communicate with authorities Monday.
City Prosecutor Barb Dibble said she had not heard any updates on Weatherall’s condition as of late afternoon Tuesday.
Loreno said police are still investigating a possible motive for the homicides, and plan to determine the relationship between the victims and the alleged offenders.