Woman guilty of killing 2 people for setting fire to a house in 2018 | Iowa


WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) – A jury has found a woman guilty of two counts of first degree murder for the 2018 arson attacks of another woman and her 9-year-old son.

Denise Susanna O’Brien, 45, was sentenced on Tuesday for the deaths of Ashley Smith, 32, and her son, Jaykwon Sallis, 9, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported. The charges stemmed from a house fire on April 22, 2018, which prosecutors say O’Brien set off on the back steps of the house because she was angry that her boyfriend spent the night with a woman. other woman in the house.

At the time of the fire, O’Brien was subject to a restraining order prohibiting him from coming to the house.

During the trial, prosecutors showed surveillance footage showing O’Brien a few blocks from the house as fire engines marched towards the burning house. Prosecutors also showed texts from O’Brien to her boyfriend shortly before the fire was reported, saying, “Karma comin 4 u… hope that hurts.”

Three other people escaped the blaze, including Jaykwon’s then 12-year-old sister.

O’Brien faces a mandatory life sentence when sentenced at a later date.

For more information on copyright, check with the distributor of this article, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.


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