General Crime

Woman Who Set Ex-Boyfriend’s Bed on Fire Sentenced to Prison

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A 20-year-old Redwood City woman who set fire to her ex-boyfriend’s bed as he slept in his San Mateo home two years ago was sentenced to five years in prison Friday, prosecutors said today. However, Jacqueline Rivera will serve at most half of that time since she has more than 1,000 days credit for time served, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Rivera pleaded no contest to felony arson and assault charges in a plea deal with prosecutors in September for the attack on April 26, 2012.

After her ex-boyfriend ended their relationship because she had cheated on him, she went to his house the night before to talk about their relationship. He refused to discuss it and went to bed, prosecutors said. He awoke at about 3 a.m. to find his bed on fire. He suffered burns to his hands and arms and his father heard his screams and put the fire out with a garden hose, prosecutors said.

However, neither the man nor his father called police about the arson until two weeks later, when one of Rivera’s friends contacted him and told him she had admitted to sneaking into his bedroom and lighting his bed on fire. He called police and Rivera was arrested on May 7, 2012. Rivera was initially found to be mentally unfit to stand trial and spent the past two years in a psychiatric facility. This May, she was found to be restored to competency and then pleaded no contest to the charges. In addition to the prison term, she was ordered to pay $425 in restitution to the victim.

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