LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say a 30-year-old man was sentenced Friday to 28 years to life in prison for stabbing his grandmother to death before setting her home ablaze in 2009.
Joseph Elija Ettima was convicted last month of second degree murder, arson, and other charges. Ettima had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but was found legally sane last month.
Authorities say Ettima murdered Emma Louise Hardwick-Street after she refused to let him move in with her, the Orange County District Attorney’s office said in a written statement.
At the time of the fire, Ettima’s 8-year-old brother and 3-year-old niece were inside the home. Both managed to escape unharmed.
Ettima asked to be excused while impact statements were read during Friday’s sentencing hearing at which point the victim’s children and grandchildren described Hardwick-Street’s passion for helping others.