Michigan man gets prison in fire that killed his mother, sister

Defendant Jason Desmone stands before the court next to defense attorney James Piazza, Thursday, May 30, 2019 in Saginaw. Desmone pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder. (Kaytie Boomer/Saginaw News via AP)

SAGINAW, Mich. - A man who authorities say set a fire in Michigan that killed his mother and sister has been sentenced to 39 to 75 years in prison.

The Saginaw News reports 39-year-old Jason Desmone was given his punishment Thursday after earlier pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson.

Desmone apologized, saying he misses his mother and sister “every day.” His lawyer said Desmone had unaddressed mental illness.

Desmone has said he lit curtains on fire and fled. He told at least one person no one else was inside. The Feb. 12, 2018, fire in Saginaw killed 71-year-old Adair Smithpeters and 41-year-old Melissa Shook.

Saginaw is located about 85 miles (137 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. The home had been condemned shortly before the fire.

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