Man gets 39 years for setting fire that killed woman at her birthday party

SHARE Man gets 39 years for setting fire that killed woman at her birthday party

A west suburban man was sentenced to 39 years in prison after he was convicted of starting a fire that killed a  woman at her own birthday party in 2012.

On July 21, 2012, Todd Mandoline was asked to leave a birthday party for Paula Morgan at her Lombard home, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.

He returned early the next morning and set fire to Morgan’s mother’s car in the driveway, a statement fro prosecutors read. That fire spread to the home and ultimately killed Morgan and severely injured one of her friends.

“[Morgan] tried to escape the smoke and flames but was unable to and died on the stairs in the home she shared with her son and mother,” state’s attorney Robert Berlin said in the statement. “Additionally, Mr. Mandoline’s actions left a young boy without his mother to love, care for and protect him.”

Mandoline, 26, of Villa Park was sentenced to 27 years for murder and 12 years for aggravated arson, sentences that will run consecutively, prosecutors said.

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