Death penalty sought in Easter house fire in Harrison Twp.; $1 million bond set

UPDATE @ 1:25 p.m. (April 11): The death penalty is being sought against Shawn Albertson in the death of 75-year-old Gerald Manns, who was found in the basement of his home on Easter.

The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday approved the charge of aggravated murder and aggravated burglary against Albertson, 48. He remains in the county jail on a $1 million bond.

Manns was found unconscious in the basement of his home in the 4200 block of Merrimac Avenue in Harrison Twp. His car had been stolen, his home burglarized and set on fire.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: 2 caught after engaging police in separate pursuits

Manns was pulled from the home. He was pronounced dead at Miami Valley Hospital. The coroner’s office concluded he died as a result of the fire.

Albertson is due in court Thursday.

Nancy Dalton, 36, arrested at the same time as Albertson, is being detained in jail on drug charges.

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Albertson and Dalton were booked into the jail about 12 hours after a neighbor first reported seeing smoke in the residence on that Sunday. Descriptions of the suspects from neighbors led to their apprehension.

“My neighbor across the street, their house, they had smoke rolling out the window,” one neighbor told a 911 dispatcher.

Manns’ empty driveway offered one of the first clues the fire was arson. Relatives noticed that his car and other belongings were missing. Sheriff’s detectives were called to the scene.

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